Contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Federal flood insurance now available in Town of Odessa
DOVER (May 4, 2012) – With collaboration from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Town of Odessa is now a participating community in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program. Through Odessa’s efforts working with DNREC to secure participation in the program, federally-backed flood insurance is now available to the town’s property owners. FEMA, through its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, recently approved the town’s application to participate in the program.
To become an active participant, Odessa filed an application to join the NFIP, signed a resolution of intent to enforce floodplain regulations, and adopted a floodplain ordinance containing these regulations. DNREC staff worked with the town to adopt standards that are higher than FEMA’s minimum requirements, using DNREC’s “model” floodplain regulations as a basis.
One of these higher standards requires that all new construction and substantial improvements of residential structures have their lowest floor elevated one foot above the base flood elevation. This provides an extra level of protection to the structure and results in lower flood insurance premiums for the owner.
The Town of Odessa has approximately 14 parcels and six structures located in the floodplain. The owners of those parcels will now be able to purchase federally-backed flood insurance. FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps indicate where the floodplain boundaries are located and the areas of greatest flood risk. Delaware residents can view the maps on the DNREC website at: http://maps.dnrec.delaware.gov/navmap/.
Institutional lenders require borrowers whose properties are located in a designated Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) to purchase flood insurance as a condition of receiving a federally-backed mortgage loan in accordance with the Federal Disaster Protection Act of 1973. Property owners not located within an SFHA can voluntarily purchase flood insurance from any agent or broker licensed to do business in the Delaware. There is generally a 30-day waiting period before a newly-purchased flood insurance policy goes into effect. Please contact your insurance company for any exceptions to this policy. You can also visit www.floodsmart.gov for more information.
Residents of Odessa will be able to purchase flood insurance up to the limits under the Regular Phase of the program. For single family dwellings, the standard policy building coverage limit is $250,000, and the contents coverage limit is $100,000.
FEMA administers the National Flood Insurance Program, which offers more than 5.5 million flood insurance policies in more than 21,000 participating communities nationwide.
For more information please contact Greg Williams of DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship at 302-739-9921.
Vol. 42, No. 171