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County seeks comments on preliminary flood risk maps


Published:   |   Updated: July 9, 2013 at 12:29 PM

TRINITY - Many of the residential areas left under standing water after Tropical Storm Debby swept through the area in June 2012 did not appear in flood-prone areas on floodplain maps that are used in setting insurance rates.

That is in the process of changing.

For the first time in up to 20 years, Federal Emergency Management Agency has updated flood maps for the area, according to Cindy Jolly, project manager for the Pasco County stormwater management division.

County officials are continuing a series of open houses to explain the possible impact for residents from the preliminary maps.

The next event will take place 4-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, at Sunlake High School, 3023 Sunlake Blvd., Land O' Lakes.

The final open house will take place 4-6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at Wiregrass Ranch High School, 2909 Mansfield Blvd., Wesley Chapel.

Homeowners also can view the digital maps on the Pasco County website by clicking on the submenus for Residents, Homeowners and Floodplain Management.

FEMA's preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps were sent March 29. The maps probably will go into effect by spring 2014, after the public comment period concludes.

Residents and business owners can use the maps to obtain reliable information about their flood risk on a property-by-property basis, according to a press release from the Pasco stormwater management division.

The maps also provide flood zone and elevation data to help community planners, engineers, builders and others decide whether to build new structures, developments and remodeling projects.

Southwest Florida Water Management District developed the maps in cooperation with FEMA, the county and cities. The digital format allows for easier access over the Internet.

People with questions also can call the Pasco stormwater management division at (727) 834-3611 or send an email to floodinfo@pascocountyfl.net. For information about flood insurance, residents can contact local insurance agents or go online to www.floodsmart.gov.

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