Insurance agent: "Everybody's in a flood zone" in Mississippi - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Insurance agent: "Everybody's in a flood zone"

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According to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency every building within the State of Mississippi is located within a mapped flood zone. According to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency every building within the State of Mississippi is located within a mapped flood zone.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Recent storms have caused flash flooding in areas of the Jackson metro region that don't normally take on water. The repeated onslaught is a major expense to homeowners who don't have flood insurance.

Experts say if you don't believe you're in a flood zone, think again.

According to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency every building within the State of Mississippi is located within a mapped flood zone.

"You're either in a high risk or low risk, but everybody's in a flood zone," said flood insurance agent John Holder. He is also the past president of the Professional Insurance Agents Association of Mississippi.

Flood insurance policies are offered through the National Flood Insurance Program which is administered by FEMA.

"The definition of a flood is two or more acres or two or more adjacent properties. If one house floods and the house next to it does not, it may not be classified a flood and may not be covered under the policy," said Holder.

There are low, moderate and high risk zones, and one Jackson resident says flash flooding has been a decades long problem.

For Carla Johnson, who lives just in front of Big Creek in a Hidden Valley Lane home in Jackson, says the creek overflows its banks and enters her home. Monday, Johnson and her family were left mopping up a muddy mess, ripping up carpeting and planning for major damage repair.

"We have to hurry up and get these walls pulled out and replaced before black mold gets in here," said Johnson pointing to the walls of her living room.

MEMA reports that 30% of all claims are for low risk areas or areas outside the floodplain.

"You're either in an Ultra Preferred which is an "X" zone and you buy a preferred policy at a very low rate or you're in a high risk zone which is an "A" zone. And those rates are higher because there's a higher probability that you'll flood," said the Hub International flood insurance agent.

Repeat flood victims may still have to absorb the expense of clean up and repair then look to the municipality or agency responsible for system upkeep.

"People that have multiple claims there's a different issue. There's backups or sewers, there's drainage problems. They have built their house in the low elevation," added Holder.

In the City of Jackson, spokesman Chris Mims said flood victims can file claims with the Risk Management Division. Investigators will then evaluate the situation and approve or deny that claim.

When purchasing flood insurance, there is a 30 day waiting period, unless it is for the closing of a mortgage.

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