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Some Onondaga County Landowners Required to Buy Flood Insurance

By Mike Benjamin

Oswego, NY – Some landowners in Onondaga Country would be required to buy flood insurance as a result of new federal floodplain maps.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA, is Planning to release the new maps in June. The maps would place almost 2,400 new parcels of land in the county in zones considered at the risk of flooding, while more than 2,600 parcels in the country would be taken off the list. In the city of Syracuse there would be a net gain of about 750 Parcels.

Barbara Lynch is a spokeswoman for FEMA. She said owners of floodplain properties are required to buy national flood insurance.

"Flooding is the most prevalent natural disaster, period," said Lynch. "The reason there is a national flood insurance program, which is underwritten by the government, is because the private insurance industry got out of the flood insurance business years and years ago. The reason they got out of the business is that flooding is just too prevalent a natural occurrence for them to make any money."

The new maps would take effect in November. Lynch said anyone who buys flood insurance before that time would receive a preferred rate. Federal flood insurance can cost up to $2,000 per year.