Public's thoughts on area flooding sought by FEMA, city officials

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Although city creeks run dry the past, the slightest rain would cause flash flooding. 

That's why FEMA and Greene County officials are working together to update their 2009 physical map.

Robert Alvey of FEMA says public input is needed.

"Preliminary flood map updates and re-evaluations are a good thing because it allows the public as well as authorities to take a look at any changes that may have occurred, and to adjust and be prepared for a worst-case scenario."

This comes as good news for many.

In fact, State Farm Customer Service Representative Wendy Moore says much of Paragould was trimmed from the flood hazard area after recent dredging and widening of the Eight-Mile Creek.

"8 Mile maybe contributed to putting the ones that were in the worst flood zones into maybe a little bit better. The ones that were in no flood zones."

However, these revisions have placed some people in new flood zones...and now have to pay for flood insurance.

So, Alvey says FEMA is looking for comments such as incorrect roads or boundaries...and appeals to proposed floodways or flood depths.

"...make sure they've got the information based on technical data that shows that the proposed maps are not scientifically correct."

Moore says there are incentives for renters and home or business owners in flood zones.

"If you're in a flood zone, FEMA will send out these letters that actually ask you a few different questions that could possibly get you a better rate and put you in a preferred risk program."

Moore adds that hundreds of dollars per year could be saved in that program, but approval is needed from city officials.

More information on the proposed flood revision maps can be found by clicking here.

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