Lincoln, NE-- Hundreds of homes and businesses are now free of a floodplain in Lincoln.
Mayor Chris Beutler announced that the Antelope Creek regulatory floodplain from Holmes Lake to “A” Street will now be mostly contained in the channel. The floodplain was about 800 feet wide. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a floodplain map change, which means about 120 acres and more than 430 structures will no longer be in the floodplain, and flood insurance will no longer be required for structures in the area.
For Lincoln homeowners, Pat and Don Sutton, the changes will allow for more financial freedom. When the couple moved to Lincoln in 1986 they had no idea their home would be in a floodplain. They say the changes will now save around $135 a month from their insurance costs. The Sutton's say they're hoping to save up the extra cash and take a trip to visit their grandchildren.
The change is a result of several projects between 27th Street and Scott Avenue to increase bridge and channel capacity. These were local follow-up projects designed to take advantage of the increased channel capacity resulting from the Antelope Valley Project. That flood reduction project included the construction of an open channel from Salt Creek Roadway to “J” Street. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed the channel construction in 2010. That same year, FEMA approved a floodplain map change that removed about 450 acres and more than 570 structures from the floodplain in the project area north of “A” Street.
“Our community continues to see the benefits of this major infrastructure project,” said Mayor Chris Beutler. “With the two map changes, more than 1,000 structures are now out of the floodplain. The total savings in reduced flood insurance premiums is estimated to be more than $700,000 a year for property owners. The Antelope Valley Project is a great example of how infrastructure improvements can benefit many future generations.”
Mayor Beutler thanked the City’s Joint Antelope Valley Authority (JAVA) partners - the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (LPSNRD). The Antelope Valley Project, which also includes traffic improvements and community revitalization efforts, has been funded with City, State, LPSNRD and federal funds.
The effective date of the new floodplain map is June 27, 2014. FEMA posted a legal notice in the Lincoln Journal Star February 20, and a 90-day comment period will follow the second posting on February 27. During that time, the public can request that FEMA reconsider the base flood elevations based on scientific or technical data. The comment period ends May 28, 2014.
Antelope Valley traffic improvements include construction of 12 bridges and about six miles of roadway, including the “Big X” elevated intersection near the Devaney Sports Center. In addition to Union Plaza, revitalization efforts include construction of the new $50 million Assurity Life Insurance headquarters; several new housing projects; and infrastructure improvements in the residential neighborhoods. Antelope Valley is envisioned as a research and development corridor anchored by Innovation Campus to the north.