Pasadena homeowners to pay less for flood insurance

HOUSTON The city has spent years improving drainage and working on projects that help prevent flooding, and now that work is paying off with lower flood insurance premiums.

When it comes to flooding in Pasadena, Tommy Dorsey has seen his fair share.

"We've had water up to our brick vents on maybe seven or eight occasions," said Dorsey.

Pasadena city officials have seen enough of those flood waters too, and have been working since Tropical Storm Allison to ease the high water problems. Now the efforts are paying off.

The city has earned a community service ranking from the National Flood Insurance Program that directly lowers the cost residents pay for a flood insurance policy within the city of Pasadena.

"It's wonderful to be able to tell your residents, 'Guess what? It is a 15 percent savings for you,'" said Sarah Metzger, Pasadena Environmental Services Manager.

Metzger told us the city had to make physical improvements to drainage lines in some places, took part in a home buyout program and changed building codes.

"The developer may leave the streets at the flood level, but he raises the finished floor of the house up so it is not in the flood elevation," said Metzger.

The city also took flood maps to residents so homeowners could see where the flood plains are, and just how close a home is to the danger zone.

City officials say the discount that comes with getting a community rating will save policy holders an estimated $200,000 a year. As the city continues flood control efforts, bigger savings could be passed along.

"You are always trying to spend your dollars wisely and protect the most people you possibly can," Metzger said.

The discounts could become larger for Pasadena residents. As the city improves flood control efforts, the National Flood Insurance Program will reassess the city's rating, and if things improve, the premiums can go down.

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