Girard neighborhood fights flood-zone designation
|By Valerie Myers, Erie Times-News, Pa.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
But because the stream's banks are only a few inches high in places and the footbridge was just inches above that, nearby homeowners aren't worried about flooding or flood damage.
Plus, the stream runs underground through most of the neighborhood and apparently isn't significant enough to have a name. A new
But the little stream could cost some neighbors big money.
The new flood-zone map includes some properties in the subdivision in Flood Zone A, at higher risk of flooding. Homeowners have been required to buy federally approved flood insurance as a result.
"It doesn't make sense," said
Homeowners weren't notified of the changes before
"Now we feel like we've been put up against the wall in trying to find out what is going on, after all of the decisions have already been made."
Carnahan and her husband, Michael, paid
"And then you don't know what the results will be, or if
Other homeowners in the neighborhood also have been required to buy special flood insurance. Homeowners whose mortgages are paid off are not required to buy the insurance, even if their properties are in the flood zone.
"This house is in the zone and has to have flood insurance. That house isn't in the zone and doesn't have to have it. That house is in the zone but doesn't need flood insurance because the mortgage is paid off," Carnahan said, pointing out a checkerboard pattern from her own to neighboring properties. "It makes no sense."
Being "in the zone" in the quiet
Homeowners have asked staff at
But there may not be anything that
"It used to dry up completely in August, but now, because of an increase in rainfall in recent years and because of the sewage plant effluent going through there, the stream runs year around," Stubenbort said. "There actually is a pretty good amount of water coming through up there at times."
The borough once cleaned culverts along the stream to prevent water from backing up and overflowing, but environmental and conservation agencies have prohibited that in recent years, Stubenbort said. "If the stream was dry, then the borough would be allowed to go in and clean out the culverts," he said. "When it's running, we can't."
Neighborhood residents will continue to ask questions and do what they can do fight the new flood-zone designation, Carnahan said. "Our goal is to get this neighborhood remapped back to Zone X," she said.
Flood Zone A has a 1 percent annual chance of flooding. Zone X has very minimal chance of flooding, according to
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