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Floodplain maps show fewer St. Peters residents at risk

Fewer St. Peters property owners may be affected by new federal floodplain maps that go into effect next year, meaning those residents may not have to buy flood insurance.

Russ Batzel, St. Peters’ manager of transportation and development services, told the city’s Board of Aldermen during a Nov. 19 work session that new maps have placed fewer properties and buildings in areas that may be subject to 100-year floods – the base flood elevation.

Local governments must adopt new federal floodplain maps by Jan. 20, 2016, a requirement that has to be met for residents to buy mandated flood insurance if they are in the floodway. St. Peters already has adopted the maps.

Municipal and county residents should have or will soon receive letters notifying them that they are in the 100-year or higher floodplain area.

Alderman Judy Bateman (Ward 2) asked Batzel to discuss the maps because she and other aldermen are getting calls from residents. According to officials, some of those property owners may find that the new maps place them in a higher risk area of flooding than in the past.  But a larger number of properties and buildings are no longer in the floodplain, according to the new maps. That means property owners no longer are required to buy the insurance.

The revised maps were developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The maps are part of the National Flood Insurance Program, which regulates development in floodplains throughout the nation. Federally backed flood insurance is available in exchange for local governments adopting regulations.

The updated maps, developed by federal officials since 2009, are based on the use of new technology and studies that look at the areas near the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and at small creeks and streams such as Dardenne and Spencer creeks in St. Peters.

“The new maps are providing a benefit to the community,” Batzel told the aldermen, because they incorporate new technology and hydrology studies.

Property owners can view the maps on the city’s website at http://gis.stpetersmo.net/floodplain. Residents can also contact Roger Stewart, the city’s building commissioner and floodplain administrator at (636) 477-6600, ext. 1306.

Batzel said 1,598 parcels of property were listed as being in the floodplain and eligible for flood insurance, according to the old maps. The new maps added 235 properties but removed 618 properties. The new maps now list 1,215 properties eligible for flood insurance.

The old maps also listed 929 buildings in the floodplain. The new maps add 87 new buildings as floodplain insurance eligible but eliminate 662 buildings. Batzel said 354 buildings in the city are listed in the floodplain by the new maps.

Batzel said residents should check with their insurance agents to see if they are required to have flood insurance.

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