The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

April 22, 2010

Flood zone proposals draw residents’ ire

ENID — Residents of the Brookside Addition were ready to revolt Monday night at the announcement the city of Enid may want to purchase some of their homes that are in the Boggy Creek flood plain.

During a public hearing on the flood master plan, city officials discussed two possible options for dealing with flooding in the area. Brookside, which is in the flood plain, was devastated in the deadly October 1973 flood.

Options discussed included moving water to an area south of town and constructing a lake, which would cost an estimated $25 to $30 million, or purchasing about 60 homes in the Brookside Addition and creating a drainage channel to move water through the area. The location mentioned by the city as a possible lake site is at Skeleton Creek and Oklahoma 51.

The proposal to remove 60 homes in Brookside would affect two blocks of homes on Dwelle and Brooks and possibly one or two houses on Valley View.

Residents who live in a flood plain must buy flood insurance if they have a mortgage on their property. That insurance can cost as much as the mortgage itself. Property insurance does not include payment for flood damage and homeowners must have separate flood insurance.

“That’s a 100-year flood plain and it flooded in 1973. It could happen, I guess,” said one local insurance agent.

Jim Henderson, a Realtor and owner of Enid Property Management, which has homes in the Brookside area, said the city move probably will make it difficult to sell homes in that area.

“It remains to be seen what the impact is,” he said. “On the surface, it would seem damaging to property values. Rentals probably won’t be affected because they aren’t terribly long term. It’s hard to assess what it means, but it will no doubt have an impact.”

Realtors are required to tell potential buyers if a house is located in a flood plain, and Henderson said lenders also do a flood plain analysis on all property. Henderson does not know of any problems in the area that would make it unsafe.

“The last time they had a flood there was in 1973, and it is a 100-year flood plain. So I guess in 2073 we may have another flood,” he said.

Insurance agent Dan Dillingham said insurance rates probably would not be adversely affected because property insurance does not pay for flooding. He said the area downstream from Brookside was dangerous at one time.

“But, in fairness, there was a foot of water in the 500 block of North Indepen-dence,” he said, referring to the October 1973 flood, which killed nine people in Enid and impacted large parts of the city. “The storm dumped 15 to 18 inches during a two-day period.”

The proposal by the city has drawn fire from residents and school officials with Pioneer-Pleasant Vale Public Schools, which could lose  students if the homes in Brookside are removed.

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