More than a dozen people attended a public meeting Tuesday to see if their property would be affected.
WEST BURLINGTON - Des Moines County residents had an opportunity Tuesday to see whether their property will be affected by changes to the floodplain as state and federal agencies work to redraw the maps.
Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps are being redrawn across Iowa now that the state has obtained more accurate topographical information to better determine how properties will be affected by future floods.
Insurance companies use the maps to determine flood insurance rates for buildings and properties, while other entities refer to them for floodplain management, permitting, zoning and mitigation planning.
Des Moines County's maps were last updated in 2011, said Carrie Sigrist of Atkins Global, contracted by the Department of Natural Resources to assist with floodplain mapping.
"Preliminary means we have done the modeling, we have done the mapping, and now it's time for the community to take a look at these maps," said Sigrist. "We want the officials to take a look, we want the homeowners to take a look, and it's time for them to comment on these maps, make sure everything looks good and accurate."
Property owners who disagree with the preliminary mapping are given a 90-day window to file a formal appeal or submit comments.
The flood plans are tentatively scheduled to become effective in June 2020.
More than a dozen people attended the open house Tuesday at Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission (SEIRPC) in West Burlington, to sit down with a IDNR or Atkins representatives to see where their property sat in relation to the 100- and 500-year flood zones.
"That's what most people want to see — am I in or am I out?" Sigrist said. "In most counties we're finding that more people are being pulled out then pulled in."
IDNR and SEIRPC representatives estimated about 50 local property owners were notified that their property potentially could be impacted by changes to the floodplain.
The Iowa Flood Center and IDNR website, iowafloodcenter.org, allows property owners to view the preliminary plans and determine whether they are in the floodplain.
At 5:30 p.m. tonight, a public meeting will be held for Lee County residents at the Lee County Office Building, 933 Avenue H in Fort Madison.
Area residents with questions about the flood map changes can contact IDNR at (515) 725-8352 or via email at Ken.Bouma@dnr.iowa.gov.