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FEMA Tightens Flood Safety Policy

Sacramento, CA — A new federal flood-mapping policy means residents of hundreds of communities nationwide could be required to buy flood insurance and construction in some low-lying areas may be halted.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says any flood plain protected by a levee will have to be certified to meet a 100-year flood standard.

If not, FEMA will assume the levee doesn´t exist for the purposes of gauging flood-prone areas. Homeowners protected by inadequate levees will be required to buy flood insurance costing hundreds of dollars a year.

Any new homes and businesses will likely have to be elevated above expected flood levels. Governor Schwarzenegger is seeking $90 million in federal money to repair Central Valley levees.