New flood insurance maps are available to look at in Collier County. They could have a major impact on how much you have to pay.
People can grab an information form, write down their address and look up their property to see if they’re in a high or low-risk flood zone.
FEMA officials say the information is vital for those living close to the coast.
“Seems like we get a hurricane every five years,” said Brady Taylor in Collier County. “So the worse the storm surge, the bigger the risk.”
It’s a risk Dottie Seber and her husband want to be prepared for.
“We retired 13 years ago from Ohio, so we’ve been here 13 years full-time,” Seber said.
And any time it rains, Seber says a grassy area behind their East Naples condo fills up with water.
“It can get pretty high,” Seber said. “It becomes a lake. We’ve had ducks and cat fish in there.”
During Irma, Seber and her husband were relieved they did not feel the brunt of severe weather conditions.
”If we had the 15, 18-foot storm surge, our buildings could have been wiped out,” Seber said.
Still, it will cost more to protect Seber’s home with it falling under new flood maps in Collier. Seber learned the buildings where she lives are at a higher risk on the new flood maps during a recent Collier County meeting.
“Florida is flat. We didn’t have a good topography or ground elevations back 40 years ago when we did the studies,” said Mark Vieria, a FEMA project manager. “Now, we do, and we just have better data.”
People were able to grab an information form, write down their address and look up their property to see if they were in a high-risk flood zone or a low risk one.”
“We didn’t know now if we would have to pay for all the buildings who could now be in a flood zone,” said Mary Mayes in Naples. “But, right now, the way the map is, we’re in good shape.”
Anyone who missed open houses in Collier Collier can type in their address and see if they are in a newly drawn flood zone on the Collier County map online.
Flood insurance representatives say the difference could mean hundreds, but it’s critical, in many cases a requirement, to have coverage.
“It’s very concerning, living along the coast,” Seber said. “But its paradise, so it’s a trade off.”