New FEMA Flood Maps, Open Houses Scheduled

149

Residents and property owners in coastal areas of Lee County can view new draft preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) at three upcoming public open houses on Sept. 10-11.

FIRMs show the potential extent and risks of flooding. They will be used to determine flood insurance premiums and building requirements.

At the open houses, attendees can learn about their risk of flooding and ask questions about what the new maps will mean for their property. Specialists will be on hand to discuss flood risk, flood insurance, appeals, mitigation options, as well as the engineering behind the flood insurance study. The public can stop by at any time.
No formal presentation will be given. Home and business owners, renters, real estate agents, mortgage lenders, surveyors, and insurance agents are encouraged to attend.

The open house dates, times and locations are:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 10, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel
  • Tuesday, Sept. 10, 5 to 8 p.m. at Cape Coral Yacht Club, 5819 Driftwood Pkwy, Cape Coral.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 11, 4 to 7 p.m. at Florida Southwestern State College
    Building U, Lee Campus, 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers.

The new preliminary FIRMs were developed through a partnership between the communities and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and are based on updated modeling data and show coastal flood hazards more accurately than previous maps.

The goal of the open houses is to inform property owners and the community of their flood risks. Over time, these risks change due to construction and development, environmental changes, watershed conditions, and other factors. Flood maps are updated periodically to reflect these changes.

By law, federally regulated or insured mortgage lenders require flood insurance on buildings that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. Standard homeowners, business owners, and renters’ insurance policies typically don’t cover flood damage; consequently, flood insurance is an important consideration for everyone with coastal property. Flood insurance policies can be purchased from any state-licensed property and casualty insurance agent. Call the National Flood Insurance Program Help Center at 800-427-4661 or visit www.floodsmart.gov for more information.