3 On Your Side: Flood zone? - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

3 On Your Side: Flood zone?

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RIDGELAND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Therman Howard, Jr. of Ralde Circle in Ridgeland got a pretty rude awakening in August of last year.

After going for more than ten years without having to pay flood insurance, suddenly his new mortgage lender says he has to. "I think it runs $700 a year," he says.

It will be a big payout for Howard, a former surveyor who's on disability. He says when he first moved in 17 years ago, he paid flood insurance. But that loan was bought by a company that didn't make him pay. "I had sent documentation where I had run elevations, and showed the elevations with a surveyors' certificate to show the elevations I had. That company accepted it," he says.

Howard has been collecting documents to help prove his point, including a letter from the City of Ridgeland stating that the house behind him is not in the 500-year flood plan.

But the letter is dated 1992.

Howard has been trying to get the city to write a similar letter for him. He's certain he's not in a flood zone. "I've been here since the City of Ridgeland was a town. It used to flood at the other end, but this has never seen water," he says.

We wanted to speak to other neighbors to find out their situation with flood insurance. Earline Griffith lives across the street, at 689 Ralde Circle. She didn't want to talk on camera, but says she's always had to pay flood insurance, about $300 a year.

Ridgeland Mayor Gene MaGee tells 3 On Your Side the letter from 1992 is no longer valid. FEMA re-drew the maps for the entire state some time after the year 2000, and Howard's address is considered a flood zone.

Mayor McGee says Howard will have to contact FEMA if he wants to dispute the matter further. 

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