Mayor of Newport discusses city's flood plain map

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - New flood maps are becoming more effective in Jackson County, Newport city officials said Wednesday, hoping people will examine the maps to determine their need to buy flood insurance.

According to a news release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, most homeowner insurance policies do not cover the effects of flooding.

However, for residents living in the Newport area, Mayor David Stewart said there were only minor changes in the flood plain map.

"Our flood plain coordinator and myself went over this map at length yesterday morning," he said. "This is very important for our planning. There are very few changes that are within the city of Newport in the flood plain itself, which we're fortunate."

However, for residents living in other areas of Jackson County, FEMA says flood insurance is available either through a private policy or through the National Flood Insurance Program.

"Many towns that are along the White River aren't as lucky," he said. "We're fortunate that we're surrounded by a levy that protects the citizens and the property inside of Newport and there are very minor changes but it's in areas where there are no buildings and no homes."

Mayor Stewart also said there are some places in town that are prone to minor flooding.

"We are kind of built in a bowl," he said. "Newport is surrounded by levees that protect us from the White River, and many times when we have heavy rain we have to pump or allow that pump to run outside of the city limits."

FEMA also stated that anyone without flood insurance runs the risk of uninsured losses to their homes, personal property, and business.

Also, officials suggest people contact their local insurance agent to learn more.

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