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Manatee County will introduce new flood maps

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Preliminary maps showing revised flood zones in Manatee County will be shared with the public at a public viewing 4-7 p.m. Monday, June 11, at the Manatee High School cafeteria, 902 33rd St. Court W.

A Manatee County government press release said the new maps are not official until adopted by the county commission.

The public is invited to attend and ask questions about what the new maps mean for their property and new flood insurance premiums.

Property owners, including those on Anna Maria Island, can appeal the flood-zone designation of their property, the release said.

Anna Maria building official Bob Welch said the new maps might show some areas of the Island are no longer considered in a prime flood zone.

The new maps were a coordinated effort between Manatee County and FEMA to use the latest digital technology in developing maps that “better reflect the risk that communities face,” said Tom Gerstenberger, Manatee County engineering division manager.

FEMA specialists will be at the meeting to answer questions from homeowners about the process that determines the flood insurance rate for a particular area.

Property owners, renters, real estate agents, mortgage lenders and insurance agents are “encouraged to attend the open house to meet with specialists and ask questions,” particularly about flood risk and hazard mitigation within their communities.”

Updates to the maps can be viewed online at www.mymanatee.org/gisapps/mapviewer/index.jsp.

Welch said, as far he knows, FEMA considers all of Anna Maria Island to be within the highest rated flood zone. However, the new maps are “worth looking at” for any changes or potential mitigation sites.

For more information, call 941-748-4501.

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