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Risk of flooding determines cost of flood insurance

If located in a flood plain, cost is higher

Risk of flooding determines cost of flood insurance

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - With all the rain we've gotten recently, many people across the Midwest are preparing for possible flooding.

Residents in La Crosse are no strangers to it happening here, especially if their home is in a floodplain.              

Flooding is a risk all of us take living so close to many different sources of water, but some are at more risk than others and it definitely shows when it comes to the cost of flood insurance.

Edward Shawley is a true Wisconsinite.

"I am not one of those people who wish they could go to Florida every year," said Shawley.

He loves the outdoors so it didn't take him too long to realize having a boat while living on the Mississippi River just makes sense..

"I am out almost every day," said Shawley.

But lately, he has noticed a change out on the water.

"They got signs that are posted, slow, no wake because the water is so high," said Shawley.

The latest data from the National Weather Service shows the Mississippi River is at flood stage, which is 12 feet. But because of La Crosse's unique location, it has multiple flooding sources.

"The Mississippi River, the La Crosse River, and the Black River," said Doug Kerns, the floodplain manager with the city of La Crosse.

Depending on the location of your home or business, the risk of flooding varies.

The ones at most risk are part of the floodplains.

"A floodplain is an area identified with a 1 percent chance of flooding each year," said Kerns.

FEMA is in charge of mapping those areas, and those within the floodplains carry a heavier fee when it comes to flood insurance.

"I've heard that some people have to pay $2,500 a year for flood insurance and that is an awful lot of money," said Shawley.

However, there is one way to make sure you are only paying for what you need.

"I encourage people to get an elevation certificate on their home to truly identify what their risk is," said Kerns. "Are you 1 foot in the floodplain or 6 feet in the floodplain? It's a huge difference in risk."

Shawley only lives a few blocks from the river, but fortunately for him, his house isn't in a floodplain. If it was, he said he may have to start looking for a new hobby.

"If I had to pay what some of those people are paying, I don't know. I guess I would be thinking to moving to higher ground," said Shawley.

If you are looking into flood insurance, just remember there is a 30-day waiting period before the flood insurance becomes effective, so make sure you plan ahead.

Click here If you would like more information about the floodplains in La Crosse.

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