Flood maps corrected

Published 2:51 pm Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sometimes there are people who come to our aid but fail to get recognition for their tireless efforts.

I would like to show my appreciation to three people in particular for their outstanding cooperation and determination to resolve a problem that seemed like an insurmountable task. They are Bob Gardner, the City of Bainbridge building official; Matt Palmer of Palmer Insurance Agency, and Richard Matthews of Matthews and Associates Surveying.

These gentlemen went to great lengths to correct the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) located on the FEMA Web site for the City of Bainbridge and Decatur County, and to get updated the Department of Homeland Security standard flood hazard determination (SFHDF) information, which specify the zone for each property listed on the map. The flood hazard zones are A and V.

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The Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency known as (FEMA). The map on the FEMA Web site for the City of Bainbridge and Decatur County was incorrect. The map showed that parts of the West Bainbridge area, particularly the Westwood Subdivision, was located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).

Because of the error in the map, all the homes located in this area were mandated to obtain flood insurance by their mortgage company. Being that these homes were shown to be located in the SFHA, regular flood insurance could not be purchased. The homeowner had to obtain a surveyor who would survey their property. The surveyor would provide an Elevation Certificate to the homeowner, and then the homeowner could purchase flood insurance, which was at a much higher rate than the regular flood insurance.

Because the map was updated, homeowners in this area have the option of obtaining flood insurance. If they do purchase flood insurance they would not have to pay an exorbitant amount for the insurance and they do not have to pay a surveyor to obtain an elevation certificate.

Thanks again to all of you for your hard work in assisting us.

E.H. HallBainbridge, Ga.