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Flood plain update a pain

FEMA changes cause confusion in Sturbridge

October 07, 2009
STURBRIDGE — Of the 4,692 individual land parcels in Sturbridge, more than 1,200 of them were affected by recent updates made to the town's flood plain maps — but the changes are not complete.

The flood plain map for the town of Sturbridge was updated earlier this year by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the first time since the original draft in 1982.

According to FEMA, the designation assigned to a given area on the map determines the requirement — or lack thereof — by most mortgage holders for the landowner to purchase flood insurance for any structures on the property that may fall within certain areas.

Areas labeled 'A,' 'AE,' 'AH,' or 'AO,' are high risk, and according to FEMA, have a 26-percent chance flooding at some point over the life of a 30-year mortgage, and will likely require flood insurance.

'V' and 'VE' zones, according to FEMA, have a 1-percent chance of flooding in any given year, and while they do not require insurance, it is recommended for people living in those areas.

Zones labeled 'X' are considered lower risk, and while also not requiring flood insurance, it can be obtained for an, 'X' location for as little as $112 a year.

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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