Federal Flood Maps Scheduled to be Updated in Pinellas County
According to the Tampa Bay Times, on August 24, the federal flood insurance rate maps in Pinellas County are scheduled to be updated. These maps were last updated in 2009, and this new version will account for current weather patterns, building codes and ultimately, the real risk of flooding to a building.
Officials are urging residents to check these maps. They predict that the new information will motivate residents to pay for flood insurance. Pinellas County floodplain administrator Lisa Foster has said that “It’s a personal decision, but we want to make sure people are able to recover after a flood event and flood insurance will help them financially recover. We saw this with Tropical Storm Eta in November. The folks that had flood insurance to help them get back on their feet are in better shape.”
Images of the old and new maps can be found here for comparison: bit.ly/PinellasPendingMaps
These changes may require property owners who were not priorly obligated to start paying for flood insurance. This is because “federally regulated or insured mortgage lenders require flood insurance on buildings in areas with high risk of flooding”.
The “Risk Rating 2.0” will allow homeowners to look at the risk of their individual home flooding, rather than get an estimate per area. This can potentially affect homeowners because federal program rates will likely be influenced by this data. Officials are advising that the sooner homeowners purchase their flood insurance, the better their premiums are likely to be.
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