TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Does your home lie in a flood plain? People across the area who never had to deal with the issue are suddenly finding out they now do, and they owe big money in extra insurance costs.
FEMA redrew flood plain maps in August, but it was not until recently that residents found out they were affected. They received a notice from their mortgage companies that they needed hundreds of dollars in flood insurance, sometimes due to mere inches of elevation.
"It just doesn't seem fair to a lot of the people," said Jo Vancleve.
Vancleve's daughter and her family have lived in a west Toledo home for years. They just got some unwanted news. FEMA redrew flood plain maps requiring thousands of new people to buy flood insurance.
Families like the Vancleves now owe nearly $2,000 per year.
"With the economy nowadays, who needs their house payment raised? People just can't afford it," said Vancleve.
Bob Neubert handles flood plain issues for the Lucas County Engineer's Office.
"We did have some change up here in the northwest Toledo," said Neubert.
Neubert gets calls every day from people alerted by their mortgage company that they now live in a flood zone. Only some qualify for reduced flood insurance rates.
There are ways to avoid it. For instance, if only a portion of the property falls in a flood zone and not the house.
"I have had several cases where people say, 'Oh my bank says I'm in the flood zone,' and they're not," said Neubert.
That has happened for hundreds of people in Lucas County who hired a surveyor to check their properties.
"The only way to get out of the flood plain is by elevation. You have to be up higher and that requires you to hire a surveyor," said Neubert.
FEMA has pledged to redraw the maps every 10 years.
Even though Vancleve's family did hire a surveyor and was removed from the flood plain in the past, there is no guarantee now.
"Now that FEMA redid the map they're right back in it again," said Vancleve.
They may be stuck paying the extra costs.