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News Section: Local Government

BOCC Reviews FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps

Published Wednesday, February 19, 2014 12:02 am

BRADENTON  -- On March 17, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Flood Insurance Rate Maps will go into effect. Many of the flood insurance rate maps currently being used, date back 30 years. Not only have the risks of protecting property changed over the past decade or two, but so has the technology accessing that risk.


The goal is to update flood hazard data to the current topography and development with today's advanced technologies. Manatee County started providing FEMA with data for the new boundaries in 2009, and by December of 2011, FEMA sent a preliminary map to Manatee County for public review.


After public announcements for meetings requesting public input and comments, the appeal period ended in May 2013. 


The new maps were adopted by the Manatee BOCC (referenced with Ordinance 13-39) in January and scheduled to take effect on March 17.


These maps will be used to calculate the cost of insurance premiums, to establish flood risk zones in effort to mitigate potential future flood damages to properties. Insurable buildings located in high-risk areas, called Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) are secured by federally-backed loans that are required to purchase flood insurance.


Gary Reeder, President of the Manatee County Farm Bureau, presented a letter to BOCC members at Tuesday's work session, stating solidarity to the resolutions passed by Desoto and Hardee Counties, exempting normal agriculture practices from the Flood Ordinance that Manatee recently passed.


Lands considered bona fide Agriculture Lands shall be considered de minimis under the ordinance and would require no flood plain permit from the county.


There are still studies not recorded which could require revision to the adopted FEMA maps. FEMA will make those calls if they are in question.


Overwhelming opposition to the skyrocketing flood insurance premiums resulting from the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act prompted a Senate vote of 67-32 on January 30 to delay and block parts of the bill passed. 


Both Senator Bill Nelson and Representative Vern Buchanan support postponing the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act, saying premiums have soared to as much as 400 percent. Speaker John Boehner says the House will not take up the bill as written.


Click here for FEMA Maps.

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