Angelina County man upset over FEMA floodplain lines

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - David Diezman says according to the federal government, there's a creek that runs through his living room.

"Basically because we live near a creek and that there is no Base Flood Elevation, they put us in the flood zone," Diezman said. "The thing of it is their map is flawed."

"I believe they've established that flood zone by their yard, not their structure," said Ricky Conner, the Angelina County emergency management coordinator

Diezman, along with other residents on Copperfield Loop outside Lufkin, received a notification from his lender in March that they live in a flood zone and are therefore required to buy flood insurance.

He's lived in the house six years and it's never flooded.

"2004 we had 79 inches of rain that year, the water came out of the creek, came out of its banks four times that year and it never got closer than 25 feet from my deck," Diezman said.

Diezman says the lowest point in his yard is actually about five feet higher than the creek itself.

He says the time to protest to FEMA has already passed, but he wasn't aware FEMA was redrawing the maps. So, he's taking action now.

"I have to fight it because it's, like I say, who can afford to just take $2,000 more out of their income for a year," Diezman said.

FEMA supposedly ran out of money to finish setting true base flood elevation levels for the unincorporated areas of the county.

So residents like Diezman end up paying high-dollar for a policy they say they don't need.

"You've got people's livelihoods involved," Conner said. "I mean, when you're paying $4,000 on your insurance and you're used to paying about 400."

"I want FEMA to give us a BFE and if through a BFE they have documented proof, they can show us we are in a flood zone A, I'll shut up, I'll pay my flood insurance," Diezman said.

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