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About 350 LaSalle-area homeowners will be able to save $400 or more a year on flood insurance as a result of federal approval to redraw the Bergholtz Creek flood zone map.

The approval makes the purchase of flood insurance voluntary for about 350 homeowners and includes all homes in Black Creek Village in the Love Canal area and all homes north of Cayuga Drive after July 5. The owners will receive written notices to present to their banking institutions and insurance agents if they elect to cancel their flood insurance. Purchase of flood insurance is mandatory for homeowners with federally backed mortgages on properties located in flood zones.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the city's request to revise the flood zone on Jan. 5. The request was backed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Army Corps of Engineers, which acted on updated hydraulic information provided by the city in March.

The public has 90 days to request a reconsideration of the change through Mayor Irene J. Elia's office, but the request must be based on evidence of a change of conditions or new scientific or technical data.

A similar request to reduce the Gill Creek flood zone is expected to be submitted by the Corps of Engineers by summer. It is anticipated that the flood zone will be reduced considerably, potentially affecting much of the area of Hyde Park Boulevard, Walnut and Ferry avenues, and Niagara Street.

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