Northeast El Paso homeowners may be saving about $9 million dollars after FEMA finalized revised flood zone maps that became effective on Tuesday.
That means home and business owners will see lower insurance rates, or not have to pay flood insurance at all.
“It’s a long time coming, but the process is finally complete and Northeast El Paso can rest assured that upwards of 4000 properties are now out of the floodplain,” said Gilbert Trejo, Chief Technical Officer at El Paso Water Utilities.
Almost 800 properties in the area have flood insurance policies. However, that’s about to change.
“The main difference in flooding is where you fall on the floodplain. So, these people are going to have a big advantage,” said Mark McGee, an Allstate insurance agent.
A city engineer said people are already excited about how much they’ll be saving every year.
“He was paying $10,000 and today he is going to pay about $2,000. Also I heard from developers too that one of the apartments. He is going to save $30-40,000 of not paying flood insurance,” said Kareem Dallo, Engineering Division Manager.
El Paso Water Utilities said building the three-mile channel was not an easy task.
“In Northeast El Paso, you’re talking about these large channels — 15 feet deep 20-30 feet wide,” said Trejo.
The channels have to be wide because the water in the area also carries a lot of rocks and debris. There are also other flood control projects underway.
“We are currently working on five different projects that will remove dozens of homes from flood plains in El Paso,” said Trejo.
The city is working on removing flood zones in Central, the Lower Valley, and Eastside.