HAMMOND | Some 1,433 structures in Hammond near the Little Calumet River were relieved of federal flood insurance requirements earlier this month, and the city is now looking to free those properties remaining in the official flood plain.
Christopher Burke Engineering, the Indianapolis firm which has guided the multiyear effort to free thousands of homes around the river and in the Wolf Lake area from mandatory flood insurance, was directed to begin elevation surveys around Northcote Avenue by the Board of Public Works and Safety last week.
A map revision released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Oct. 12 formally liberated the Hammond buildings, and another 1,672 in Munster, from the flood hazard zone as a result of the $250 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers river levee project.
Another 256 structures in Hammond between Northcote Avenue and the Illinois state line remain officially at risk of flooding, and those properties are targeted in the new survey, said City Engineer Stan Dostatni.
The boundary change means an annual savings to property owners of between $800 and $2,000 in insurance premiums required by lenders and underwriters for parcels in areas considered by FEMA to be in 100-year flood plains or so-called Special Flood Hazard Areas.
Property owners should be notified of the classification change over the next few months, along with information about how to cancel or discount existing flood insurance policies, obtain a refund on the balance of a canceled policy, or secure a reduced premium for continued flood insurance.