In Manatee County, the new flood zone maps are out, and tonight you can get a preview and ask questions from 4-7 pm at an open house at Manatee High School and talk to county workers, insurance representatives, and even people from FEMA about the updates to the flood zone maps.
Sandy Tudor has been working in Flood Plane Management for Manatee County since 1999, and during her employment there’s one thing that really didn’t change over the years. “Half of our maps are 1984 and half of them are 1992.”
Maps used to help determine flood insurance and building requirements. “If you’re in a, what is known as a Zone X, which is a low risk zone, you’re not required by law to have flood insurance.”
But if you’re in a high-risk zone, you are required. A reason the maps needed to be updated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “FEMA’s at actually the very end of a 5-year program to update and modernize the maps.”
Residents can get them by logging onto Manatee County’s website. “It’s actually pretty easy to find out what flood zone you’re in. You click on this box right here and click search and you can type out your address and find out whether you’re in a zone or not.”
It’s something every resident and business owner should do, especially if they are planning any renovations and the zone has changed. “If the cost of the renovation addition equals or exceeds 50% the market value of the structure, then you would need to bring it to current code if it is not at current code.”
The maps are preliminary and it’s not known when the final maps will be out.
Now, there is a difference between flood maps and evacuation maps. FEMA maps deal with fresh water flooding as a result of rain, whereas evacuation maps deal with water from the Gulf of Mexico and rivers that could be pushed ashore during a tropical storm or hurricane.
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