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Posted: September 25, 2012

Flood lines redrawn for Tulsa County homeowners

Flooding shut down W. 81st St. just east of S. Elwood Ave., March 19, 2012
Russell Mills
Flooding shut down W. 81st St. just east of S. Elwood Ave., March 19, 2012

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By April Hill

Some Tulsa homeowners have only a couple weeks left to lock in flood insurance premiums before the new flood plain map takes effect. 

Bill Robison, the lead engineer in Storm Water Project Coordination for the City of Tulsa, says the lines are updated every year.

He tells KRMG, "There's a few properties that are now touched that weren't touched and a few that have been removed."

The changes are for homes across the Tulsa area and start October 16th.

Robison says, "They were pretty well scattered over the city of Tulsa."

Most of the changes are due to new housing and business developments.

Listen to Bill Robison talk about how to save money on flood insurance.

If your house is added and you take action now, today's flood insurance rate may be grandfathered in to match the current flood zone.

Oklahoma's flood insurance premiums are already 40 percent lower than the national average.

That’s because of the state’s participation in what's called the Community Rating System Program through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Robison says the program is designed to offer bigger discounts as more and more homeowners sign up for flood insurance.

Only 25 percent of property owners in the current flood plain in Tulsa have insurance.

That's better than the national average is of 13 percent.

The price could go down another 5 percent if more people sign up for insurance to protect them against flooding.

The number of homeowners with the insurance would have to double. 

Robison says, "50 percent of our properties in the FEMA designated special flood hazard area have to have flood insurance and we're at 25 percent."

Homeowners deep in the flood plain could be up to $1,000 a year.

Robison wants to remind property owners that when your home is destroyed by flooding, your regular homeowners insurance doesn’t cover it.

Your only hope is for the flooding to cover such a large area the president declares a State of Emergency.

Robison is worried several years in drought have pushed the flooding issue in the back of homeowners minds.

He says it’s only a matter of time before it happens again.


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