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Floodplain Map Changes

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If you are a property owner in St. Louis Park, your home or business may be affected by changes to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodplain maps, which went into effect Nov. 4, 2016.

How do the changes affect me?

Some property owners within or close to the floodplain may have received letters from their mortgage companies requiring them to purchase flood insurance. Based on the new data, other property owners may find themselves no longer required to carry flood insurance.

Note: Flood insurance must be purchased 30 days before a flooding event for it to be effective. 

Why are these changes happening?

FEMA updated its flood hazard maps, which identify flood hazards and assess flood risk areas by using the best available technical data, including data for river flow, storm tides, hydrologic/hydraulic analyses, and rainfall and topographic surveys. This information is gathered in Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), which are used by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to form the basis of NFIP regulations and flood insurance requirements. The changes are not due to any physical changes (projects) in the city.

What is the city’s role in these changes?

In order to comply with federal requirements and to maintain the city’s eligibility to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the city worked with FEMA and with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to use the new data to update the city’s floodplain ordinance. The city is responsible for administering its local ordinances. Local ordinances must comply with State and Federal regulations. The city does not directly administer or create FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).

What should I do if my mortgage company tells me I have to buy flood insurance?

You should determine how much and what portions of your property are either within or outside of the new floodplain boundaries. View FEMA’s online Flood Map Service Center or Hennepin County's online mapping tool to help make that determination. Hennepin County's map allows you to search by property address, and it shows new floodplain boundaries, high-quality color aerial photography, parcel boundaries and topography. Once you have that information, you can contact you mortgage company to discuss your options.

If your property is located within the floodplain, but all structures are clearly shown as out of the floodplain, you may qualify for a Letter of Map Amendment – Out as Shown (LOMA-OAS). View the LOMA-OAS Guide for help filing a LOMA-OAS with FEMA.

What if my property is in a low lying area?

Some properties have very low elevation and include structures that are in the high-risk floodplain. It may be possible to elevate or flood proof your house to comply with floodplain regulations, or to partially mitigate the risk, which could help reduce flood insurance costs and lower your risk.

Have you previously received a Letter of Map Amendment or Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill?

FEMA provided a list of properties that includes a summary of map amendments. Category 2 in that summary lists the Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) and Letter of Map Amendment Based on Fill (LOMR-F) cases that will continue to be valid. If your property is included in that list, and your mortgage company contacts you to add flood insurance, you can provide them with the revalidation letter. Some of the cases in the list have dozens of properties covered with one LOMR-F. Also, many properties are listed by the legal description, not the street address, which may make it difficult to determine if your property is included in the list. City staff has researched and provided a list of current addresses included in the Summary of Map Amendments.