CLIVE, Iowa -- Clive homeowners are demanding answers after the Federal Emergency Management Agency unveiled new preliminary flood maps that could begin as soon as 2016, predicting a 500 year flood event. Bill Raine, a Clive resident for 14 years said, "If your home wasn't in a flood pain or never flooded before, it doesn't necessarily matter. This is directly effecting home values throughout the state of Iowa."
The new maps drawn across all of Polk County, will now force an additional 200 Clive homes including Bill Raine's to pay for flood insurance which can average around $2,000 a year. Raine said, "That could be a lot of money, the average amount your home drops in value could be twenty percent."
FEMA officials say in late July they met with local officials throughout Polk County about the maps but many residents were also Infuriated by what they called FEMA's subtle notification approach. City Council Member Mike McCoy said, "It is pretty tough to be a resident and find out in the mail suddenly that your home is in a flood zone."
Making matters worse FEMA representatives were a no-show at the community meeting Wednesday night and representatives were unavailable to attend. "The federal government doesn't even require a meeting like last night so you may not hear about it through other cities but this is happening throughout Iowa."
Because of it, the city shouldered the load of frustration. "The city is not involved in the process, it's FEMA and the federal government and congress that mandates it."
With nowhere to turn and questions left unanswered the people of Clive are calling for help from legislation. "Joni Ernst, Chuck Grassley, or David young, none of our representatives were there. Nobody is saying anything about this."
Instead of rolling up their sleeves to assist like FEMA is known for, Raine says it seems as though they have turned their back on Iowans. Raine said, "Fema is that bully. FEMA is doing this throughout Polk County silently."
FEMA says in the next few months they will begin the 90 appeal process where homeowners can contest the new maps. Communities can also apply for a special program that offers a discount towards flood insurance called the Community Rating System.