Lone Pine Creek flood-plain boundaries change

Nearly 100 property owners will be added to flood plain, while 55 will be subtracted

Medford will send out letters next week alerting 92 property owners that their land is now in the flood plain of Lone Pine Creek and they'll need flood insurance.

Another 55 property owners who were previously listed as being in the creek's flood plain will be taken out, following an federally required analysis conducted by the city.

The new maps include another 208 properties that were on the old map and remain on the new one. In all, there are 300 properties now considered to be in the flood plain.

Medford City Council members were briefed Thursday on the new flood-plain maps that are required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"I know I'm going to get some calls," Councilor Bob Strosser said.

Notices will be sent out to 355 property owners in a 3.1-square-mile area along Lone Pine Creek from about Biddle Road to North Foothill Road.

"I was flabbergasted at the size of this flood plain," Councilor Dick Gordon said. Lone Pine Creek meanders through many residential neighborhoods in east Medford and crosses under Crater Lake Avenue, Lone Pine Road, Springbrook Road and East McAndrews Road.

The original flood-plain map was prepared in 1978 and was updated in 2011, said Larry Beskow, city engineer.

For Medford residents to qualify for a 10 percent reduction in flood insurance, the city must abide by the findings of flood maps that are reviewed by FEMA.

Beskow said there is good news for the 55 property owners who will no longer need flood insurance.

The flood-plain mapping is a FEMA requirement, and the city has no leeway to add or remove properties on appeal. The flood-plain determination is based on a technical, not subjective, analysis, Beskow said.

The city also is required to send out letters to the affected property owners as part of the FEMA rules, he said.

In 2011, FEMA modified the 100-year and 500-year flood plains throughout all of Jackson County, affecting more than 5,000 properties.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow on Twitter at @reporterdm.

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