New FEMA Maps Designate Chesterfield Areas as Flood Zones - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

New FEMA Maps Designate Chesterfield Areas as Flood Zones

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CHESTERFIELD (WRIC) - New FEMA maps put some Chesterfield residents in a flood plain for first time ever and many are not happy about it.

Most of them live in the Woodlake, Brandermill and Swift Creek neighborhoods.

Residents around Swift Creek were renewing their homeowner's insurance and were shocked to learn they now live in a floodplain and they need flood insurance.

Kamran Raika's home backs up to the swift creek reservoir and during powerful Hurricane Isabel his neighborhood saw some damage but he says the water never came close to threatening his home.

"We have never had any major issues with water here," he says. "There were a lot of down trees some water in front yards and backyards but our house specifically we didn't have any issues."

Still, Raika recently had to buy flood insurance.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, was ordered by congress to revise its flood zone maps - most were 30 to 40 years old.

The revisions are forcing thousands of homeowners across the country to buy pricey flood insurance for the first time ever.

Raika tried to fight it.

"FEMA reviewed it and denied the request."

FEMA tells 8News their decision to include this neighborhood in what's called a "special flood hazard area"  is not based on past storms but topography, water flow, run-off and drainage systems.

Raika's insurance cost him a couple extra hundred dollars a year but some residents are getting hit with $5,000 bills.

Some residents have had success appealing the FEMA's claim that their home was in a floodplain, so that is an option.

FEMA says you can also you can talk with a flood insurance agent about ways to reduce your risk of a flood and then reduce the cost of your insurance.


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