On the Beat in Bluffton

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ossian residents learn more about the proposed Eight Mile flood plain

There's a map for that.

"Everything that can happen to your home or business, there's a risk map for it," County Surveyor Jarrod Hahn said Tuesday evening in Ossian, while attending a meeting to discuss modified flood plain maps.

The proposed modifications – which could change prior to approval – puts several homes within a 100-year flood threat, possibly requiring those homeowners to purchase insurance.

The maps in Wells aren't detailed or exact; even the proposed flood plain maps are approximate. Those will be at the Ossian Town Hall for residents to look over.

Some of the audience members Tuesday asked about how to alter their properties – flood proofing – to avoid possible flood insurance requirements. Suggestions ran from building walls to moving around dirt.

But Hahn and Area Plan Commission Director Michael Lautzenheiser Jr. said such projects have to be done correctly, at the advisement of a professional engineer and/or surveyor, or it won't impact the property's financial obligation for being in the plain.

The maps that have been used prior to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's proposed alteration is from 1983, which doesn't have any part of Ossian in a flood plain, Hahn said.

Then, a couple decades later, FEMA decided to update the maps. That proposal includes some properties around the Eight Mile, and most of them have been removed in the appeal process with the Department of Natural Resources.

Now it's up to FEMA to decide where the line will be drawn.

Learn more in the Wednesday, Dec. 4, News-Banner.

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