The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently released updated flood hazard maps for public review and comment prior to final adoption. All residents, property owners and businesses should review these preliminary maps, located at Northwest Florida Water Management District Flood Maps, to ensure they have adequate flood insurance when the new maps take effect.The 90-day appeal period will begin July 23 and end Oct. 21. Once approved, the new flood zones will be used to set flood insurance rates. All appeals must be turned in within the appeal period. A cover letter explaining the appeal and any technical data backing up the appeal are necessary; this can be as simple as an elevation certificate showing the ground level is higher than expected in the area. Appeals should be provided to:
Karen Thornhill, CFM, Floodplain ManagerSanta Rosa County Development Services6051 Old Bagdad Hwy., Room 202Milton, FL 32583
"The public really needs to understand flood risk," said Floodplain Manager Karen Thornhill. "The current flood mapping in some places of our county is more than 30 years old. The new mapping is based on current technology and is much more accurate. These maps will assist in properly rating flood-prone structures, assessing the risk of flooding for future structures, and keeping our citizens reasonably safe from flooding." For more information, contact Karen Thornhill, 850-981-7029.