Live in a flood zone? Expect higher insurance premiums
SALEM, Ore. - Any significant rain is a scary prospect for people living in flood zones, and it's about to get much more expensive to buy flood insurance. The only choice for most people is federal flood insurance from FEMA.
Homeowner Amanda Brenneman just found out her premiums are going up - way up. She bought her house in December and she's proud that it has the original wooden floors from 1927.
"I wanted to actually buy a house instead of just renting - to invest in my future," she said.
Her lender said she also had to invest in flood insurance.
You can only get it through FEMA. And just last week the federal government warned Brenneman and thousands of others their premiums could triple. She's already paying $75 a month.
"It's high to me, especially because the house right across the street is not in the flood zone, and the records indicate that my house has not flooded," she said.
Outside the high-risk zone, Brenneman said she wouldn't even have to buy flood insurance. But according to FEMA, the risk a house on her side of the street will flood is much higher than a house on the other side.
Two years ago Mill Creek did flood and that's also when Brenneman's damage started - not from the creek, but from Congress. In 2012 it passed a law raising premiums.