By CRAIG BENNETT
Iron County Today
PAROWAN–Due to the recent flooding, especially in the Parowan area after the Brian Head fire, the Federal Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Utah Division of Emergency Management, is in the process of updating the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS) for the community of Parowan.
FEMA has developed a draft for a revised version of the floodplain map for Iron County and other incorporated communities. It may impact homeowners if a structure on your property is found to be located within a 1 percent annual chance floodplain, and you may now be required to purchase flood insurance.
A public open house was held in Cedar City last month for homeowners and business owners to preview the revised FEMA maps for Iron County. Residents were given an opportunity at the meeting to ask questions about the possible impacts the new maps and boundaries will
have on their properties.
Ken Lambertsen, a Parowan homeowner whose home was severely damaged in flooding caused by heavy rains and runoff from the Brian Head fire, said he was not able to be at the FEMA open house, but he knew they had redone the maps for Parowan and other communities.
“At the time my home was flooded I didn’t have flood insurance,” he said. “This wasn’t designated as a floodplain at that time. We were able to get flood insurance after the fact. I guess once there has been a flood there is a good reason for it. My insurance agent wrote up a policy independent of FEMA and now we’re covered.”
Lambertsen said he has not received any compensation from the city, or the insurance company he had been with, and he has not filed a claim against the city or county.
“We’re still debating it,” he said. “It seems logical that I would. I know the city has insurance but I don’t think their liability is that much to cover all of the damage.”
Jamie Huff, Risk MAP Program Manager with the Division of Emergency Management, in communication with Iron County Today, stated , “After this meeting, there is a 90 day appeal period, but the begin and end date of that appeal period has not yet been established. However, I anticipate it beginning approximately around February 2018, and we will be informing community officials when that date is established.”