ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – For the first time in 14 years, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has updated flood zone maps for St. Johns County, which could impact residents' flood insurance coverage.
Damage in St. Johns County from Hurricanes Irma and Matthew continues to serve as a reminder of the importance of flood insurance.
The updated flood zone maps include 10 zones. The changes were released this week with help from the county's floodplain manager, Patrick Doty, who said the new maps should be easier to read and more accurate.
“This is the 2018 flood insurance rate map, so you can see its background over digital imagery. It’s got colored flood zones and a much greater detail along the boundaries here whereas up here, I have a 2004 map that’s black and white and you can see these flood zone boundaries are a lot more approximate,” Doty said.
Residents can go to the Flood Zone Viewer page on the county‘s website and type in their exact address to find out what flood zone they're in.
Doty said residents should check the maps as soon as possible because their flood zone might have changed.
“I think a lot of people use (the hurricanes) as a benchmark,” Doty said. “(They think,) 'If I survived that, if my home didn’t flood during this event, I am A-OK. I am fine' -- when unfortunately that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
If your zone has changed, contact your insurance agent.
Zones A and V are special flood hazard areas, meaning they are more likely to see flooding. If you went from A or V to any X zone, your insurance cost will likely go down. If it’s the opposite, you might now be required to get flood insurance even if you haven't had to in the past.
To find out your flood zone and if it changed with the new maps, go to https://www.gis.sjcfl.us/floodviewer.