Changes to flood maps might make residents’ insurance go up

Bay County

MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — The last time FEMA revised Jackson County’s flood insurance rate maps within the Apalachicola and Chipola watersheds was over a decade ago.

FEMA partnered with the Northwest Florida Water Management District to make the revisions.

“We get funding from FEMA to implement their program and we act as an advocate for the local communities to make sure that the best available science and data is used in the mapping updates,” said Jerrick Saquibal, Chief of Resource, Projects and Planning.

If FEMA shows your home has a higher risk, then your insurance rates could go up.

“What is changing for their certain structure of their property and what some of those changes could mean for them,” said Geographic Information Systems Specialist, Jon Zetterberg.

When residents walked in, they stopped at the property look-up station to see what the maps said about flood risks on their property.

From there, they went to the other four stations to accurately verify their information.

Many properties may not be listed as being in a flood zone, but they still flood.

This flood risk open house provided the opportunity to learn how to change an area’s flood risk.

“If they feel that their property or their structure is at or above the flood risk elevation, they can come here and apply for a letter of map amendment, or letter of map change,” said Colin Leung, Geographic Information Systems Specialist.

Leung said if the homeowner claims their area has minimal risk, then they could get cheaper flood insurance or may not have to have coverage at all.

The updated maps are expected to be completed in 18 months.

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