FEMA offering sharply discounted insurance rates for 2 years under flood remapping push

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Property owners across the country who fear they'll be forced to buy expensive flood insurance under a push to draw up new floodplain maps may soon catch a break.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said this week that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering the coverage at sharply lower rates for two years.

A southwestern Illinois levee official estimates an affected homeowner's yearly premium under the lower rate might be $300 — four to five times less than what it might be otherwise.

The new rates are available after the redrawn maps take effect.

The insurance requirement applies to property owners with federally backed mortgages in what are deemed high-risk flood areas.