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Flood insurance required for more
Oct 16, 2013

More than 100 homeowners along Clear Creek in Wheat Ridge are facing the prospect of having to get flood insurance next year.

New maps for the National Flood Insurance Program were officially approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency this summer and go into effect Feb. 5.

A total of 267 parcels of land in Wheat Ridge will be added to the floodplain under the maps, while 82 are removed, according to city documents.

Not all parcels are homes — roughly 55 percent of the current map is open space — but an estimated 100 to 200 residences will fall under the flood-insurance program starting next year, said Mark Westberg, engineering design supervisor for the city.

"It's a big impact on people," Westberg said. "If you have a mortgage, your mortgage company is required by federal law to get flood insurance."

Wheat Ridge officials are working on policy changes that could lower the cost of flood insurance across the city, Westberg said.

Wheat Ridge residents are eligible for a 20 percent discount on insurance policies based on the city's flood-protection rating. That brings the cost of insurance in Wheat Ridge down to about $1,100.