Thousands of homes in Hammond and Munster being taken out of flood plain

2012-10-12T17:14:00Z 2012-10-14T00:21:03Z Thousands of homes in Hammond and Munster being taken out of flood plainChelsea Schneider Kirk chelsea.schneider@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com

Thousands of homes in Hammond and Munster are being taken out of the flood plain, officials confirmed Friday.

Hammond received notice that 1,433 homes will be pulled out of the flood plain within the next 120 days. The homes are along the Little Calumet River between Northcote and State Line avenues.

Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said the city has worked with a consultant to go house to house in an effort to prove that properties no longer need to be in the flood plain.

McDermott said the property's height is a main determinant of whether it falls into the flood plain.

“We've been successful,” McDermott said. “Since I've been mayor, almost everybody around Wolf Lake is out of the flood zone and almost everybody along the Little Calumet River is out of the flood zone.”

The announcement leaves 258 properties in the city within the flood plain. McDermott said Friday the city will focus on correcting problems to give those property owners relief as well. About 50 of those homes are around State Line Avenue.

The office of U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., announced Friday the Federal Emergency Management Agency released a revision of the flood insurance study report and rate map for the communities of Munster and Hammond.

Along with Hammond, 1,672 structures in Munster are being removed from the flood hazard zone, according to Munster Town Council President David Nellans in the Friday announcement.

"I am pleased to see this decision from FEMA, which shows that our cooperative efforts on the Little Calumet River Flood Control and Recreation Project are paying off," according to Visclosky in a statement. "Our ability to manage heavy rains is stronger. Our residents' flood insurance obligations are lower."

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