FEMA Flood Maps Are Changing: What You Need To Know

Mar 26, 2019

Residents and businesses may see changes to their flood insurance rates as Hillsborough County coastal flood maps are updated for the first time in 30 years.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency revised the maps using new data and technology, including modeling storm surges, surveying coastlines and observing wave action. Improved data about the changing shoreline over the past three decades led to FEMA being able to create more accurate flood insurance rate maps.

“Although the risk (of flooding) has always been there, most of the area has been underestimated. That has required FEMA to change the maps,” said Hillsborough County Hazard Mitigation Manager Eugene Henry.

Informational meetings about updated coastal flood maps will be held April 3 and 4.
Credit Hillsborough County

Changes to flood zones or risk levels in the new maps affect more than 40,000 people in Hillsborough County.

“There are a few areas that are going to have the risk reduced to the 1 percent probability flood event, but many areas within the coastal area are actually impacted with a higher elevation, or a zone change, or the extension of the flood zone area,” Henry said.

Hillsborough County will be holding informational meetings where residents can speak directly to FEMA representatives and see what these changes mean for them.

“FEMA is going to be in the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County to speak (about) the maps, the science and the models, and any insurance changes that our residents and businesses would have to take into consideration,” said Henry.

Residents will be able to have their address checked to see if their risk of flooding has increased or decreased and how insurance policies might change as a result. Those who cannot attend the meetings can find where their property falls in the flood zone online.

The scheduled meetings will be held:

April 3, 5 to 8 p.m.
Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library
3910 S. Manhattan Ave. in Tampa

April 4, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library
3910 S. Manhattan Ave. in Tampa

April 4, 4 to 7 p.m.
Riverview Civic Center
11020 Park Drive in Riverview

Click here to view Pinellas County flood information

Click here to view Pasco County flood information

Click here to view Sarasota County flood information

Click here to view Manatee County flood information