Officials warn thousands impacted by new FEMA maps.
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- FEMA released its first updated flood map for Palm Beach County in 30 years and county officials say the changes will impact many homeowners dramatically.
“It’s a huge deal,” Doug Wise with the Palm Beach County Planning and Zoning Department said. “Thousands of properties are affected.”
"They’ve really expanded some of the areas," said Douglas Rill, a real estate agent with Century 21.
He said many people in the area are going to be surprised when they find out how the changes will affect them.
“It’ll be like, when someone gets their renewal they’ll be like: Oh my gosh! What happened to my policy? I wasn’t in a flood zone now I am in one," Rill said.
For many that will mean they will have no choice but to buy flood insurance.
“So if you don’t have it, they can foreclose on your house because you don’t have it," Rill said.
Depending on which flood zone type you're in (A, B or C) your premium will be different.
Flood Map Changes to Trigger Higher Building Elevations in Palm Beach
TOWN OF PALM BEACH -- Long-anticipated changes in floodplain maps, coupled with changes to the Florida Building Code, are going to require buildings to be built at higher elevations, town officials say.
Residences will have to be built at 8.5 feet, a foot higher than now, and non-residential buildings at 9.5 feet, 2 feet higher than current guidelines.
The state building code is expected to change in December after it is adopted by the Florida Legislature, Building Official Bill Bucklew told the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Here is how to use the map:
1) Enter your address
2) Click on the icon all the way on the left
3) Open "Commonly Used Layers"
4) Click on "Flood Zone Map" to see current flood zones
5) Click on "Proposed Flood Zone" to see the proposed changes
The maps are still preliminary. You can get your own survey done and try to change the map before it takes effect in October.
Map Before Proposed Flood Zone Update on October, 2017
Map After Proposed Flood Zone Update on October, 2017
Yellow indicates new Flood Zone Area