Downtown Pueblo in new FEMA 100 floodplain map

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From the Pueblo Chieftain (Peter Roper): “Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency told council the new digital flood maps ordered by Congress could very well put Pueblo’s Downtown within the 100-year flood plain – a decision that will force property owners to purchase flood insurance and could impact the city’s ability to borrow money. The preliminary maps are scheduled to be finished later this year with a final version completed in 2010. ‘We’re still looking at the hydrology,’ consultant Dave Jula told council, ‘but if you can’t certify (the levees), you’ll see water Downtown.’

“The levees in question are on Wild Horse/ Dry Creek west of the city, the massive concrete barrier along the Arkansas River, and the levees on Fountain Creek. The new FEMA map will spell out what areas are likely to be underwater in the event of a major, 100-year-flood. Because such floods are often catastrophic, the FEMA map will determine which properties must carry federal flood insurance. To date, Pueblo’s Downtown has not been marked inside the Arkansas River flood plain. ‘We realize the effect this could have on our Downtown,’ Council- woman Judy Weaver somberly acknowledged to FEMA officials during the 45-minute briefing at the council work session.”

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