NewsRegion C Palm Beach County


Flood risks remain outside FEMA flood zones

Posted at 12:39 PM, May 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-11 19:22:46-04

Hurricane Season is approaching, but the rainy season is just about here. For tens of thousands of us, that means time to worry about flooding.

At Tall Pines and Ontario Rd. in the Town of Haverhill, it's a unique situation.

Roxana Morales is in a flood zone updated just last year. Just down the road, Cora Warren is out of the zone.

When it comes to flood insurance, Roxana is glad to have it. "I would yes. Me personally yes, because what I'm seeing what happened last year," said Morales.

Cora doesn't see it as a necessity with her elevation. "Maybe that's why I don't have flood issues," said Warren.

However, should everyone living near water in our viewing area look into flood insurance?

A new study claims more than 40 million Americans are at risk of a once in a lifetime flooding event. More than double what FEMA estimates.

Dr. Len Berry in Boca Raton with Coastal Risk Consulting has done similar research. "FEMA is looking backwards and we're looking forward as what the present is and what the future is. We find the rise in sea levels by a few inches already making a difference," said Berry.

FEMA may be admitting this as well. In a statement, it said: "These maps are intended to inform flood insurance requirements and regulate development standards in high-risk areas. They are not intended to show absolute lines where flooding will and will not occur."

Many people can't forget last year's once in a lifetime flood from Hurricane Harvey. At Palm Beach County's Emergency Operations Center, officials worry about that kind of storm.

"We saw the Delray area get 22 inches in 8 hours," said director Bill Johnson. "Prone to those kinds of storms throughout the area and it doesn't matter if you're in a flood zone or not you could be at risk."

The cost of flood insurances in low-risk to moderate-risk zones is only a couple hundred dollars.

For more information on flood zone maps click here.

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