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Lucas dissents on flood insurance

Some residents in Sylvania Township's Deerpointe subdivision may get a break from revised federal maps that place them in a floodplain and could trigger costly flood insurance.

The Lucas County engineer's office has decided to survey about 30 lots in the subdivision at Centennial Road and Bancroft Street. The office then will forward the information to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and ask FEMA to reconsider its decision to place those residents in a floodplain, said Brian W. Miller of the engineer's office.

Several weeks ago county surveyors mapped the nearby St. James Wood subdivision, where residents' plans to sell or refinance their homes were quashed when they found out that the mandatory - and expensive - flood insurance was required on their homes.

The engineer's office, which believes that FEMA used outdated topographical maps to calculate the new floodplain maps, is expecting a response from FEMA about the St. James Wood request within a few weeks.

A response to the Deerpointe surveys may not arrive until this fall, Mr. Miller said.

FEMA updated its 1980s maps last year, and area homeowners learned that they had been placed in a 100-year floodplain. FEMA said large-scale development over the years has affected the environment and drain patterns, thus changing the maps. The county has argued that the old maps that FEMA used do not take into account such things as drain improvements.

Residents may themselves make the application to FEMA for map revisions but must pay for a professional survey of their land.

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