Are you covered? Collier's new flood zone maps take effect Wednesday

■ 2012 flood maps already are in effect for Naples building permits.

■ New flood maps become effective on unincorporated Collier County building permits as of March 30.

■ Maps are effective for insurance purposes in all areas as of Wednesday, May 16.

■ To find out a Collier County property’s floodplain designation go to www.colliergov.net/floodmaps.

■ Property owners can call (239) 252-2942 with questions about the Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

■ Property owners in the city of Naples can find if their flood status changed at naplesgov.com. (The direct web address is napgis.naplesgov.com/NIMA.) Enter your address and if you still need confirmation of the property’s official flood zone designation, contact a flood insurance agent or Naples Floodplain Coordinator Christa Carrera at ccarrera@naplesgov.com or (239) 213-5039. (city-only calls)

■ Marco Island property owners have a tool on the city’s website: cityofmarcoisland.com

■ Everglades City property owners should go to the Collier County government site or contact Everglades City Hall for more information (239) 695-2511.

— Time is running out for Collier County property owners to find out what type of risk they have under the new flood zone maps affecting flood insurance.

It may be the first act people should take in preparing for the upcoming rainy and hurricane seasons.

The 2012 Federal Emergency Management Flood Zone Maps go into effect Wednesday, May 16, for all of Collier County, including the cities, for insurance purposes.

"Home and business owners who purchase flood insurance prior to the effective date of new maps may be able to obtain a preferred risk policy or be grandfathered into the current flood zone, thereby saving money on flood insurance," FEMA spokeswoman Mary Olsen said.

Though officials couldn't determine the number of properties with new insurance requirements, it's been estimated that tens of thousands of properties in Collier County will have different insurance regulations when the maps go into effect Wednesday.

Most properties in Naples city limits have been categorized into a new zone, said Christa Carrera, the city's floodplain coordinator.

Generally, Golden Gate and the Golden Gate Estates areas are among the most affected in Collier, said Robert Wiley, Collier County flood zone map project manager. Those are by no means the only areas affected, however, and the only way to know about each specific property is to check the flood zone maps online, Wiley has said.

Owners of property in unincorporated Collier County should go to colliergov.net/floodmaps. Owners of property in the city of Naples should go to napgis.naplesgov.com/NIMA.

Some people contacting the Daily News said they found the Collier interactive map difficult to use. Problems reported in March, however, seem to be corrected. Officials provided these tips:

When going to the website, click "Final DFIRM with the flood zones."

It may require downloading and installing Microsoft Silver Light, which is free. Then, type in the address in the upper right search box labeled "Find Places."

The map is color-coded and the legend for the color-coded zones is on the left side of the map. For example, if a property is in the orange zone, the legend indicates it's in "Zone AH."

There are seven zone names between the old and new maps and to find out the significance of each zone, go to the colliergov.net/floodmaps main page and in the list of "frequently asked questions" click "Flood Hazard Zone Descriptions on the FIRM and DFIRM Maps."

Owners of buildings which moved from B, C or X zones, which indicate moderate- to low-risk areas, to A, AE, AH or VE zones, which are called Special Flood Hazard Areas, are likely to have flood insurance implications, Olsen said.

Flood insurance is required on properties with federally backed mortgages, as is typical, or which were constructed or repaired using federal grants, Wiley wrote in an email to the Daily News.

County staff is "helping to clarify anything that people don't understand," Wiley said.

Not everyone will pay more. Some properties' zone indicates a lower flood risk and, therefore, possibly lower insurance rates than the previous maps, which hadn't been updated for about seven years.

Collier County and city of Naples governments already have put the new maps into effect for building permit applications. Naples is seeing a flood of new building permit applications within the city limits, Carrera said.

"For the most part, the new flood maps will actually have a positive impact on construction due to the decreased elevation requirements throughout the city limits," Carrera wrote in an email to the Daily News.

Due to potential cost savings, it's not recommended to delay learning the effects of the flood zone map changes on individual properties. The costs of flood insurance premiums vary greatly based on flood zone, flood elevation and property values. The average flood insurance policy costs about $600 per year, according to National Flood Insurance Program officials.

Homeowners might be notified by their mortgage lender. However, they might not be notified if their flood insurance is no longer necessary or if their risk and associated costs decreased. Such notification, if it comes, may not be in time to take advantage of one of several cost-savings opportunities made available through the National Flood Insurance Program, Olsen said.

People are encouraged to contact their lender and insurance agent to see what options are available to them.

"Timing is important … There is only one chance to grandfather and lock in the existing zone for future rating, and that is before the new flood map becomes effective," Olsen said.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 30

Beachglow writes:

We are all nickle and dimed to death by insurance industries and local governments. Isn't it pitiful.

Creep writes:

The average policy is 600 dollars. you'd be lucky if you could insure a moped for that

PlumSmuggler writes:

Just another "bend over grab the ankles" policy by our extortionist minds in government. I guess next month the new "snow zone maps" will be introduced? Who said prostitution isn't legal in collier county.

muleman1 writes:

What a joke this flood zone crap is?

dixielee writes:

in response to Creep:

The average policy is 600 dollars. you'd be lucky if you could insure a moped for that

I don't know where you're getting your insurance, but my policy is over $4,000 and I've lived in the same house since 1962 and there's never been a flood on my property!~ Yet another reason I left!@

bobblehead writes:

Instead of constantly changing the flood maps, why don't they just do what they are slowly doing by increasing the areas in the flood zones.... just require anyone with a mortgage to have flood insurance in the state of Florida.
Since most of the insurance is the government run citizens plan, in would mean more government funding.

lswjth2 writes:

You really have to wonder why this is happening, could it be that it has anything to do with the diabolical and criminal family (SFWMD) filling up the canals in the Picayune in the name or "restoration"??

dungho#259085 writes:

why you not like new flood map. good thing when water high..... ?

unfatcat writes:

What is actually the deal here? Again, this is a middle-class burden. Is it just a new state tax? or are many places that have never seen flooding predicted psychically to flood this year? or is this a new nanny-state of the Fed? We are not anticipated to have an unusual loss from hurricane season; so, this feels a little nanny-state to me. I mean if the County floods your house, they should have to pay for it, not you. Am I right?

BufordP writes:

yep... its a scam.... I suspect eventually everyone in the Unites States who live below an elevation of 10,000 feet will be required to buy flood insurance if their mortgage in anyway qualifies as being federally backed...

tampacoco writes:

Do these people just sit all day to try and figure out how to get more money from us? Between medical, car, dental it's crazy the money you pay out.

wentfishn writes:

Does anyone trust anything thats shoved down our throats, im sure they all have thier agendas. Plus does anyone think there are any competant people in thses positions? I doubt it!

Notthesame writes:

Links to maps temporarily down since 3-13-12, If Ineed flood insurance they know my address, send me a letter. Ive never even had standing water in my yard, and my house is 18 to 24 inches above the crown of the road. Thye better start worrying about I75, when they get those canals all filled up thats where the waters going to be.

Here4Now writes:

I'm in zone X, so haha

AnnetteKniola writes:

in response to Here4Now:

I'm in zone X, so haha

Me too, but the FEMA base-map map is not showing any colors to see what zone anyone is in. And the legend button that shows the reference colors are not working either. When did you check?

The system is not working. As of this time I post.

Here4Now writes:

in response to AnnetteKniola:

Me too, but the FEMA base-map map is not showing any colors to see what zone anyone is in. And the legend button that shows the reference colors are not working either. When did you check?

The system is not working. As of this time I post.

I had to try 4 times before I got the da*#@d thing to work. One time, it showed my house in purple (zone X500) The next time, it was all in yellow (zone X). Sometimes the legend doesn't work - it just says "updating". Lots of bugs with this thing. NO NDN, it is NOT working correctly.

Stillinny writes:

900 USD/yr. for a place that if it did flood would be the top story on the news allday everyday. Plus check the loophole for damage caused by wave action. You will pay, they will not.
During Katrina in NOL check the freeloaders there being 10-22' below river/sea level.

KR writes:

I can't get the maps to show anything! No colors or letters! What gives? It says the maps are temporarily down

RoadKing writes:

These maps work fine for me and always have, each time, every time. You may have to delete your temp files/cookies for I had to do that initially. The maps can load and dispaly colors slow unless you have a good internet connection. My download rate is 25Mbps and no problems here. Works here every time and I am NOT in a flood zone.

TallBill writes:

FEMA: (Feds Error, Many Amiss)
The new FEMA flood mapping project has done very little for the property owners in Collier County, except cause them some grief and/or cost them money. It seems that the only beneficiaries of this mapping project have been (or will be) the local surveyors and the already huge property insurance industry.
The result of this new high-tech digital flood map is that now thousands of homes are placed in the newly created flood zones, and so those homeowners will either have to buy annual flood insurance for their homes, or they will have to hire a professional surveyor so that they can then begin the process of working through a bureaucratic maze in order to have their property removed and excluded from the newly created flood zones. The most shocking and repugnant aspect about this entire scenario is the fact that the government bureaucrats acknowledge that thousands of the recently reclassified properties don’t belong in the new flood zones in the first place (and so thus the property can again be excluded, but only if the property owner successfully and timely negotiates the bureaucratic maze).
Why should we the citizens allow the government to broadly and sweepingly reclassify so much property as being in the new flood zones, when in fact it much of it does not belong there in the first place; and why should the burden fall on the property owner to take the initiative to have the property removed or reclassified if the property was incorrectly included in flood zones in the first place? If the property is removed or reclassified out of the flood zones then will the government reimburse the property owners for any expense they incurred to have the property removed or reclassified?
And by the way, where are all our duly elected county, state and federal officials on this issue, and why aren’t they doing something positive about this obvious failure of government?

Heraclitus writes:

in response to TallBill:

FEMA: (Feds Error, Many Amiss)
The new FEMA flood mapping project has done very little for the property owners in Collier County, except cause them some grief and/or cost them money. It seems that the only beneficiaries of this mapping project have been (or will be) the local surveyors and the already huge property insurance industry.
The result of this new high-tech digital flood map is that now thousands of homes are placed in the newly created flood zones, and so those homeowners will either have to buy annual flood insurance for their homes, or they will have to hire a professional surveyor so that they can then begin the process of working through a bureaucratic maze in order to have their property removed and excluded from the newly created flood zones. The most shocking and repugnant aspect about this entire scenario is the fact that the government bureaucrats acknowledge that thousands of the recently reclassified properties don’t belong in the new flood zones in the first place (and so thus the property can again be excluded, but only if the property owner successfully and timely negotiates the bureaucratic maze).
Why should we the citizens allow the government to broadly and sweepingly reclassify so much property as being in the new flood zones, when in fact it much of it does not belong there in the first place; and why should the burden fall on the property owner to take the initiative to have the property removed or reclassified if the property was incorrectly included in flood zones in the first place? If the property is removed or reclassified out of the flood zones then will the government reimburse the property owners for any expense they incurred to have the property removed or reclassified?
And by the way, where are all our duly elected county, state and federal officials on this issue, and why aren’t they doing something positive about this obvious failure of government?

TallBill writes:

in response to Heraclitus:

Remember this?

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2011/m...

No, I don’t remember the article that appeared in the paper over a year ago, but it is an interesting article. Thank you for sharing with us. The article seems to confirm that this project of reclassifying flood zones has always been far from precise, as well as it has an established history of creating a lot of confusion.
I own a home in one of the larger housing developments that is now identified as being in one of the new flood zones. I am informed by my street representative that so far the surveyors haven’t identified a single home on our street that is less than 8.5’ above sea level, and so none of the homes require any special flood insurance. Our obvious complaint is that each owner of a mortgaged home on our street has to hire their own surveyor and then they have to negotiate the bureaucratic maze to obtain a letter of exclusion so they don’t have to buy the expense flood insurance. It is sort of like being falsely accused and then having to prove your innocence, rather enjoying a presumption of innocence. In this current scenario it takes both time and money to prove to the mortgage company that you are not in a flood zone; and all because you have been falsely accused of being in a flood zone by the folks at FEMA. This just isn’t far, and it is especially unfair in view of the fact that FEMA knows very well that many of the homes should not have even have been identified as being in the new flood zones in the first place. Where is our justice, and where are those that are elected and appointed as well as paid by us to fight these fights for us?

brianfl writes:

According to the map my home, which is newer and built on huge mound, is in the 100 year flood zone and my neighbors home, which was built in the late 70s and sits much lower than mine, is in the 500 year zone. How is this even possible? If a surveyer has to come to my house and do a elevation survey to prove that it isn't in a flood zone, are we allowed to send the bill the county? Seriously? Everybody who has to hire a surveyor to get out of paying for extra insurance, me included, should get together and file a lawsuit against FEMA and the county so they can pay for their own screwups.

Creep writes:

in response to dixielee:

I don't know where you're getting your insurance, but my policy is over $4,000 and I've lived in the same house since 1962 and there's never been a flood on my property!~ Yet another reason I left!@

Dixy read story before comment... 600 dollars is quote from story not me. Don't get so excited and start posting till you read story. then posts will make sense

AnnetteKniola writes:

This may help some of you. I did this a couple of weeks ago.

Forever Fema

http://www.naplesnews.com/blogs/my-th...

wonderful (Inactive) writes:

in response to KR:

I can't get the maps to show anything! No colors or letters! What gives? It says the maps are temporarily down

The maps are voting for present obama and the maps are gay!

Sick writes:

How is this helping homeowners?

Not one homeowner will benefit from this.

Heraclitus writes:

in response to TallBill:

No, I don’t remember the article that appeared in the paper over a year ago, but it is an interesting article. Thank you for sharing with us. The article seems to confirm that this project of reclassifying flood zones has always been far from precise, as well as it has an established history of creating a lot of confusion.
I own a home in one of the larger housing developments that is now identified as being in one of the new flood zones. I am informed by my street representative that so far the surveyors haven’t identified a single home on our street that is less than 8.5’ above sea level, and so none of the homes require any special flood insurance. Our obvious complaint is that each owner of a mortgaged home on our street has to hire their own surveyor and then they have to negotiate the bureaucratic maze to obtain a letter of exclusion so they don’t have to buy the expense flood insurance. It is sort of like being falsely accused and then having to prove your innocence, rather enjoying a presumption of innocence. In this current scenario it takes both time and money to prove to the mortgage company that you are not in a flood zone; and all because you have been falsely accused of being in a flood zone by the folks at FEMA. This just isn’t far, and it is especially unfair in view of the fact that FEMA knows very well that many of the homes should not have even have been identified as being in the new flood zones in the first place. Where is our justice, and where are those that are elected and appointed as well as paid by us to fight these fights for us?

One possibility is an after-the-fact class action suit. It might get their attention.

When millions of dollars (per year) are involved, politicians sit up and listen.

staghorn writes:

Gov. Scott signs bill aimed at aiding Florida insurers
Posted May 17, 2011 at 11:08 p.m.

The signing drew praise from business and insurance interests.

The legislation's most persistent critic has been Sen. Mike Fasano. The New Port Richey Republican said it will increase insurance company profits while raising premiums. Former Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed a similar measure.

"No one is shocked that Gov. Rick Scott would sign an anti-consumer bill that raises rates and hurts our economy."
http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2011/m...

thanks rick scott

pittraul writes:

I'm glad we finally all have to pay our fair share to the government. All us evil land barrons have for far to long taken advantage of the poor and homeless with our shameful abuse of flood claims and corrubtion! I for one will sleep better knowing that when Florida sinks in to the ocean my FEDERAL DONATION will make it all right..."as right as rain"...LOL

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