FEMA flood maps: Will you pay higher flood insurance rates? Some people moved into high-risk areas

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. - When there's heavy rain, Marc Sandlin knows trouble isn't far behind.

"I can't do laundry, can't do dishes, can't flush the toilet, can't take a shower," he says while petting his bird Baby.

As he walks around the outside of his home, the Okeechobee County man says his property constantly floods.

"All these lots are higher than me around and this is the lowest spot of this whole neighborhood area."

Sandlin was one of dozens of people who came out to a FEMA open house Wednesday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has compiled new flood maps for the growing region.

"Rooftops, asphalt, concrete.  It causes additional runoff and causes additional water," said Mark Vieira, a senior engineer with FEMA.

Residents who live near the Herbert Hoover Dike are discovering their flood risk is going up.

"The corps lacks faith in the dike to be able to certify it as a viable flood protection structure for the 1% annual flood, the flood that has a 1% chance of occurring," said John Campbell with the Army Corps of Engineers.

Marc Sandlin doesn't live near the dike and discovered he's not in a flood zone.  That was the good news.  The bad news?

Sandlin wonders if the cypress knots beginning to sprout under his home are a sign of something more.

"I've already ruined two lawn services mowers where they've hit them knots," said Sandlin.

If you're interesting in learning about your flood risk, FEMA's next stop is Thursday in Martin County.  The agency will be at the Blake Library in Stuart starting at 4 p-m.


Print this article Back to Top