Some Oxnard Residents recently discovered their homes lie in a flood plain. A recently revised map released by FEMA, includes hundreds of homes that were not included in the “Flood Zone”. Some are speculating this could cause values to drop. The first is that the new maps are based on a new prediction on how much water would flow down the Santa Clara River during a so-called 100-year flood. The new estimates amount to an almost 50 percent increase over the previous predicted flow, going from 165,000 cubic feet a second to 245,000 cubic feet per second. Resident are also wondering if the map is based on new elevation levels established during the building of the community. Last week city officials hosted another in a series of neighborhood meetings about changes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

Homes in the flood plain are in the neighborhoods of windsor North, South Bank, River Ridge and Victoria Estates, which include about 6,000 people, will now be required to have flood insurance, said City of Oxnard public works officials. By enrolling in the flood insurance program before the end of the year, residents qualify for a reduced rate.

The average annual cost is about $1,700, but Oxnard City officials said property owners who enroll during a six-month window after the map is finalized can get a substantial discount. The cost of the first year’s insurance for those owners would be about $300, and $800 per year thereafter. “Owners will have to enroll by 01/10/2010, to get the preferred rate. Property owners in the flood zone with federally insured mortgages are required to buy flood insurance.

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