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Parts Of South L.A. Are Flood-Prone?

Quick, when's the last time you remember flooding in South Los Angeles? Stumped? So are we. Which is why it's so strange that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has forged ahead with new flood-zone maps that show parts of South L.A. in low-lying, flood-prone areas. The result is that some residents are already being forced to pay higher homeowner insurance premiums.

It doesn't make a lot of sense. As one resident told KNX 1070 Newsradio, his neighborhood is higher than an elevated train track and still is subject to the flood-zone designation. Bizarre. The city of Los Angeles is paying for study to challenge FEMA's findings.

FEMA argues that the maps show areas that are prone to rare but potent "100-year storms." Insurance premiums cost up to $1,700 annually for area residents, and the new maps could add hundreds to that price tag -- all to cover a rare if unheard-of event. Homeowners with federally backed loans have to pay the premiums.

But FEMA has stated its maps are collaborative and that if local governments can prove the agency wrong, it will back peddle. We'll see.

More from KCET's SoCal Connected, KNBC and AP.