The Army Corps of Engineers said that more than 3,000 properties – most of them in Atwater Village and Elysian Valley – are at risk during major flooding along the L.A. River, says the L.A. Times. That’s much higher than previous estimates and means more property owners will have to buy mandatory flood insurance and developers might be forced to build the first floors of buildings several feet above the ground to stay above potential flood waters.
Large riverside areas between Elysian Valley on the south and Burbank on the north could be submerged under an average of between 5- to 10 feet of water during a 100-year flood, according to updated flood maps. Previous flood maps showed that fewer than 900 properties were at risk during a 100-year flood.
Property owners in the expanded flood zone with federally backed mortgages will be required to buy flood insurance. That news did not go over well with some property owners who attended a public meeting on Monday night. Deputy City Engineer Alfred Mata, according to the Times, said:
“I can certainly sympathize — who wants to spend more money, especially those who have lived here a long time? …. But in the long run it’s in everyone’s interest to have these programs to protect property owners and the community at large.”
This year, new barriers have been installed and vegetation removed from the river channel to reduce the risk of flooding in Atwater Village and Elysian Valley.
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