SECURITY – Revisions to a key public safety map could mean thousands of dollars in savings for a select group of home and business owners. Their properties have been removed from floodplain designation, meaning they can cancel their mandatory flood insurance if they so desire.
60 homes and businesses are affected, primarily along U.S. Highway 85/87 from Main Street to Fontaine Boulevard, as well as a neighborhood southeast of Widefield High School along Security Creek. Until now, those property owners were required to purchase flood insurance. “Some citizens were paying upwards of $2,500 to $3,000 a year,” said Keith Curtis, Floodplain Administrator at the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department. Policy holders now have the option of dropping their coverage or keeping it with significantly reduced premiums.
Curtis says Regional Building was able to collect new data for the area using new modeling methods and flyovers utilizing more modern technology to generate more accurate assessment of the terrain and flood risk, then submitted a Letter of Map Revision to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which FEMA approved January 15, 2019.
“That’s $2,000 a year in savings, so that’s pretty significant for anybody, especially her,” said James Hillick, whose 27-year-old daughter’s recently-purchased home is among those removed from the floodplain designation. “She bought the house in December and we were surprised that it was supposedly on a flood plain. It didn’t look like it was on a floodplain.”
Flyers will be distributed to affected properties, notifying them of the change of status. Curtis says insurance companies and mortgage lenders are quick to alert property owners if they are newly designated inside a floodplain boundary, but it’s not clear if they’re as aggressive to notify regarding removal from floodplain designation. Property owners should contact their loan and insurance providers of the change to discuss cancelling their flood policy or reducing their premiums.
The Pikes Peak Regional Building Department estimates the change will provide a combined savings of nearly $1 million for affected property owners. Anyone wishing to find out whether their property is affected should call Pikes Peak Regional Building at (719) 327-2898.