Pueblo, Colorado’s Flood Maps Could Change

April 10, 2009

Federal authorities may update flood plain maps in Pueblo, Colo., a revision that could require more areas to obtain flood insurance.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is reconsidering decades-old maps of flood plains in the southern Colorado city. The agency is checking flood maps nationwide as part of a review of levees ordered after Hurricane Katrina.

FEMA is looking at levees protecting Pueblo from the Arkansas River and two creeks. City officials say they worry the revision will underestimate the flood danger. Already, Pueblo officials and FEMA disagree on the potential high-water mark and effectiveness of some of the levees.

It’s possible the flood plan maps would be revised to list much of downtown Pueblo as unprotected. If that happens, downtown property owners could be required to buy flood insurance.

City officials say they’re watching closely for word on flood plain revisions. There was no immediate word when a FEMA decision would be made.

City ordinances were rewritten in 2005 to restrict development in flood plains and areas of special flood hazard, The Pueblo Chieftain reported.

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