Portions of Broad Ripple, Warfleigh, North Butler-Tarkington and surrounding areas lie in a 100-year flood plain, placing lives and homes at risk. The Indianapolis North Flood Damage Reduction Project seeks to remove these areas from the flood plain. Unfortunately, the project has faced numerous delays (read the full story here and here ) and we applaud the City’s recent (2015) decision to finally complete the project.
Completing the project provides extensive benefit:
- A recent engineering study shows over five feet of floodwater would surround a representative Warfleigh home in the event of a significant flood event.
- Recent legislation (“Biggert-Waters Act”) and changes in the national federal flood insurance program cause annual flood insurance premiums to rise to the range of $8,000 to $10,000 per year.
- Current levels of annual flood insurance premiums drain roughly $10 million dollars per year of purchasing power from the local economy (=2,750 structures x $3,600 annual premium = $9.9 million).
- Current levels of annual flood insurance premiums depress area property values by roughly $173 million ($300/month premium = $63,000 mortgage (at 4%) x 2,750 structures).
NEVERTHELESS, despite these obvious benefits, various neighborhood associations and organizations worked to oppose, delay and stop the Project entirely. At the same time, while the lives and homes of residents were at risk, Congress acted to impose additional hardship upon affected residents. Namely, the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 sharply increases premiums and rates charged to homeowners for flood insurance with some rates now doubling and approaching the range of $8,000 – $10,000 per year. The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 attempts to slow the rate of increases in premiums, but does not eliminate them, though the act does contain certain provisions that seek to maintain the affordability of flood insurance.
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