Flood Clean-up: Are You Covered?

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WYOMING, Mich.-  In the Ideal Park neighborhood, near 54th and Eastern Avenue, the flooded Plaster Creek is back in it’s banks.

Outside the homes of many living near it’s shore are piles of garbage, pulled from the homes, basements, and garages due to water damage.

The people living in this neighborhood live in a flood hazard zone according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA.

They are required to purchase flood insurance according to Mark Walton with the National Weather Service.

“If you have a federally backed mortgage, you would be required to have flood insurance if you are in the flood hazard zone,” said Walton.

The flood in Kent County affected many people who aren’t considered to live in a flood hazard zone.

Those people have the option to buy flood insurance.

“It’s outside your homeowner’s policy,” said Walton.  “You can get it whether you are in the flood plain or outside the flood plain.  The key to the cost of that flood insurance is going to be dependent on that risk.”

The flood map in Kent County, according to FEMA, was put in place in 1982.

A few years ago, Kent County officials and FEMA began work on revising the flood map to include a wider area.

At the time, there was controversy because it would require more people to get flood insurance.

FEMA said a new map is currently on hold, and would go into effect in 2015.

Those entering the recovery phase with flood insurance are asked to document the items lost in the flood and contact an agent as soon as possible to get a proper assessment of the damage.

Those without insurance will have to wait and see FEMA federal relief will come in the form of a low interest loan.

If you are interested in acquiring flood insurance or looking for resources to help in the clean-up effort more information can be found at floodsmart.gov.

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