FEMA meets with SJC residents to discuss proposed flood zone changes

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be hosting meetings this week to discuss with St. Johns County residents and business owners the proposed changes to the flood plain map.

The current flood map has been in effect since 2004.

As a result of the changes to the new map, which will come out next year, about 10,000 buildings will be moved out of the flood zone and 1,600 will be moved into the flood zone, according to the preliminary map.

County officials, FEMA representatives and insurance professionals will be at the meetings to answer questions about the affects on flood insurance policies and rates. 

"The people who would benefit the most are those who have looked at the maps and check their properties to see if they're being moved into or out of a flood zone, particularly if they're moving in," said James Schock, St. Johns County floodplain manager. 

Properties along the county's coastal areas will be moving out of the special flood hazard zone, largely because of the high dunes there. Preliminary maps show considerable chunks of developed land within St. Augustine Beach moved out of the special flood hazard area into areas of minimal flood hazard.

But low-lying spots in Ponte Vedra Beach, mainly Sawgrass, will be added to the flood hazard zone, the preliminary map shows.

"Many people think if they have homeowners insurance, it’s not a problem. Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. Flood damage is rising water, versus falling water. So, it’s a different policy all together. If you only have homeowners insurance, you won’t be covered," Schock said.

To find out if a home is impacted by the flood zone changes, check out the St. Johns County’s flood plain map viewer.

Meeting schedule:

  • Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall

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