Larimer County, FEMA assessing extent of flood damage in floodplains

Larimer County has asked and received assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in making Substantial Damage determinations on properties in the designated floodplain. FEMA and county staff teams will begin assessing homes Oct. 23 in areas that are accessible along the Big Thompson, North Fork of the Big Thompson, Little Thompson and the Buckhorn Canyon.

The effort results in a determination of the level of damage which is critical for both insurance purposes and is a first step in determining whether a property owner can rebuild or not. “Knowing that property owners are anxious for this information meant that we had to pull in more people to assess the properties and FEMA agreed to assist,” said Larimer County Floodplain Manager Eric Tracy.

The process includes:

· Four teams, each including four people from FEMA and one County staff member will travel to the above mentioned areas and assess County Building Department red- and yellow-tagged buildings. (Red is unsafe to occupy, yellow is restricted due to specific issue.)

· FEMA will collect the necessary data and will provide Larimer County with the final results.

· The county will make the final determination and property owners should receive a letter in this regard within two weeks.

· Structures that were covered by flood insurance that are Substantially Damaged will be required to provide this letter to submit a claim for the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage on their policy.

· This information will help determine the ability to rebuild within a designated floodplain.

Homeowners are cautioned that in some areas because the physical floodplain has changed since the flood there are other factors which may impact the ability to rebuild.

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