OSCEOLA, AR (KAIT) -As cities expand, especially along the low lying areas near the Mississippi, it's important for builders to know where flood-prone areas are located.
Monday, the city of Osceola was looking to adopt new flood damage ordinances in light of changes to flood plain maps.
It seems like we have experienced more than our fair share of flooding over the past several years.
FEMA has surveyed and updated many city's flood plain maps. Osceola was no exception.
Now, with new maps in place, new ordinances must be done as well.
Ed Allred is the City Engineer for Osceola. "They re-did the maps but like I said ours changed slightly in places but it was almost no change as far as the maps are concerned."
They, being FEMA have updated and relabeled some of the areas in and around Osceola mostly in outlying areas.
Allred said flooding is really not a big issue in his city.
"The major rains that we had this last summer and even in years past. We have had water get into maybe 1 or 2 houses."
You might be inclined to believe that since Osceola sits right next to the Mississippi River what little flooding they get, comes from the river. But that's simply not the case.
The high levees take care of the river. The flooding comes from a lower source.
Allred, "Here in Osceola it's mainly just along the drainage areas that we have flood zones."
Allred showed me the updated maps and I asked, why the updated ordinances if there was so little flooding? Basically he said by complying with FEMA flood insurance is available.
Allred, "Without this ordinance they would not be able to get flood insurance."
The ordinance covers building permits in the flood prone areas. The new ordinance is slightly different than the current city policy but Allred says there are no major changes.
"There are no real threats to any existing housing and won't change what we do that much."