ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Property owners in three southwestern Illinois counties who worry they'll have to get sharply higher flood insurance once new Mississippi River flood maps are drawn are getting a bit of a reprieve.
Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has told him in writing it will delay until at least 2011 publication of the new flood-insurance maps for Madison, St. Clair and Monroe counties.
The maps were tentatively to have taken effect sometime this year. But FEMA says it needs more time to analyze public comments about the maps and handle what it calls "other required administrative steps."
Once completed, the new maps are expected to produce a dramatic increase in the size of the flood plain and the cost of mandatory flood insurance.
Congressman Jerry Costello (D-IL) issued the following statement today regarding the announcement:
"While this is welcome news, it amounts to a five-month delay. We still need a long-term solution to the problem of flood insurance premium increases, and I will continue to pursue my legislation, H.R. 3415, which would freeze current flood insurance rates in place as long as the local jurisdiction is implementing a plan to fix its levees."