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Flood Maps are Changing
Communities & Residents Have 90 Days to Appeal the Changes
CLEARWATER, Fla. – Flood maps are changing and may affect some properties and residents in Clearwater and Pinellas County. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has advised Pinellas County and the city of Clearwater that the multi-year project to re-examine Pinellas County coastal flood zones and develop detailed, digital flood hazard maps (Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or FIRMS) has been completed.
These new maps are based on revised coastal flood modeling and may affect owners of properties susceptible to flooding from the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay and inland areas near connected waterways. Some areas are now designated at higher risk of flooding than before, and other areas are now zoned for lower risk than before. To look up one’s current and preliminary flood risk, visit pinellascounty.org/flooding/fema_firm.htm to see if and how that risk has changed.
FEMA has advised that a 90-day appeal period began May 2. During this period, Pinellas County, the city of Clearwater, municipalities and citizens may appeal or comment on the proposed flood hazard information shown on the preliminary flood map. To support an appeal, scientific or technical data that proves the flood hazard information is shown in error must be submitted. To learn more, review the Criteria for Appeals of Flood Insurance Rate Maps: pinellascounty.org/flooding/pdf/FIRM_Appeals.pdf.
Pinellas County will host a Flood Map Community Open House from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, at the Lealman Exchange, 5175 45th St. N., St. Petersburg. Anyone from the public may attend. A representative from the city of Clearwater will be on hand to answer any questions.
The city of Clearwater participates in the National Flood Insurance Program that provides residents with the opportunity to protect themselves against flood loss through the purchase of flood insurance at reduced insurance premium rates. Contact the city’s Engineering Department at (727) 562-4750 with questions or concerns.
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