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Smithfield will stick with FEMA’s flood insurance plan

February 25th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Michael Stewart

SMITHFIELD — The City Council on Wednesday decided to continue to participate in the flood insurance program in order to allow residents to buy their insurance at a discounted rate.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has recently completed a new flood hazard determination for Smithfield, which requires the city to amend their existing flood prevention regulations and review the new requirements.

“We as cities who participate in the flood insurance program, are required to amend our ordinances so that it mirrors the upgrade that FEMA has established,” said City Manager James P. Gass. “If we choose not to do that we will no longer be able to be participants in the flood insurance program as established by the federal government that allows residents to buy their insurance through the federal government at a much discounted rate.

“If you were to buy flood insurance out in the open market, you would probably pay about twice what you would be paying for it if you were not going through the federal government,” he said. “We are free to adopt it if we decide to be part of the program.”

Smithfield has been a part of the flood prevention program for a long time but due to recent changes in the ordinance, the city must adopt the ordinance once again.

What changes have been made in the flood insurance program? The biggest change in the ordinance was a mapping error that needed to be corrected. The flood plain map had Summit Creek on the north side of 100 North St. instead of on the south side. It made a difference to some of the people because by moving that creek 100 feet it relieved those residents on the north side.


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