The Federal Emergency Management Agency released new Flood Insurance Rate Maps for areas affected by flooding, which brings more property into areas where flood insurance is required or additional building requirements must be met.

The Pekin City Council, and all governing bodies in the floodplains must accept the maps, which the Council will do at its meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Pekin Municipal Building. The Council has to accept the plan if it wants to be a part of the National Flood Insurance Program.

City Engineer Mike Guerra said the water ways named in the flood plain include the Illinois River, Lick Creek, Mackinaw River and Lost Creek. The National Flood Insurance Program creates the FIRM maps that identifies flooding areas. Those areas are required by the federal government to get flood insurance.

The first FIRM Rate Map was created in 1980 and identified existing flood hazards in communities across the nation. This update to the FIRM has been in progress since 2008.

“The elevations did change a little bit based on the last time they updated these maps, which was in 1980,” said Guerra. “With the adoption of the FIRM, we have to make sure our code is in compliance with the requirements of ... the Flood Insurance Program.”

Guerra is revising the city code to fit new regulations now.

The floodplain manager is responsible for regulating the floodplain for any new construction because there are regulations that have to be met by federal standard. Those regulations, among other things, require that the city’s flood plain administrator review all permits for building in the flood zone, and make sure the buildings are built in a way that it will not be flooded, according to FEMA documents.

Towns in the floodplain are North Pekin, Marquette Heights, Pekin, areas around South Pekin near Lost Creek, and communities and homes along the Mackinaw River.

In Pekin, most of the areas are along the Illinois River. The floodplain in those areas has been expanded, according to the FIRM map. For instance, said Guerra, previously, the floodplain stopped at Front Street in front of the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Now, the entire plant is in the flood zone.

The FIRM map for Tazewell County is at the FEMA web site at

Follow Sharon Woods Harris at