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      Hannibal flood insurance rates to go down

      Hannibal residents with flood insurance should see a decrease in their rates.

      Earlier this month the city was declared a member of the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System.

      The designation is based on the city's work to control what is built in the flood plain and overseeing the federal rules and guidelines surrounding substantial improvements below base flood elevation.

      City Building Inspector Joey Burnham says folks living in a flood plain should see a 10 percent reduction in flood insurance rates, while those above the plain should see a five percent reduction in rates their *flood* insurance.

      Those reductions should take effect sometime in May of next year.

      This designation will mean more work for the city.

      Burnham said, "It means a little more paperwork. Now we'll be having annual inspections from ISO and FEMA and SEMA to make sure we're making the requirements of the CRS program."

      Hannibal is one of only five Missouri towns to have this designation. The current efforts to acquire flood buyouts for folks affected by the 2008 flooding could improve the city's rating and save residents more green.

      Burnham says the fewer buildings and homes in the flood plain, the better the community rating. A better rating means the better the potential for flood insurance rates to drop.

      Other Missouri participants in the CRS are Kansas City, Platte County, St. Charles County and Independence.Participating municipalities TM flood plains are assessed and assigned a class from one to 10, with one being the top ranking. Hannibal will be a class eight community when it officially joins the program on May 11, 2011.