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Environment

150 Syracuse homes spared from having to get federal flood insurance

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One hundred-fifty Syracuse homeowners are being spared by the federal government from having to buy flood insurance.

City officials and Sen. Charles Schumer encouraged the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to re-examine measurements of Onondaga Creek. Wednesday, Schumer and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner announced the maps will be revised and include fewer homes.

"FEMA doesn’t always have the most accurate information. Some people who need flood insurance are not told to get it, but more often, people who don’t need it are told they have to get it, costing them quite a lot of money every year," Schumer said during a visit to suburban Syracuse Wednesday. 

A state study on the creek found it to be wider and deeper in certain parts than FEMA's maps showed. That means it is less prone to flooding in those areas.

More than 800 homes in Syracuse will still be required to have the protection. It costs several hundred dollars a year.

"This is an example that you can fight city hall, or in this case FEMA hall," said Schumer.

Onondaga Creek is 27 miles long, running north to south through the city. Much of it was lined with concrete in the early 1900s.