Flood maps in Pasco go digital - WFLA News Channel 8

Flood maps in Pasco go digital

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Pasco digital flood maps Pasco digital flood maps
It's the price we pay for living in paradise. Flooding. When the water rises, knowing your flood risk is important.  Floods can occur not just with hurricanes but with any prolonged rain event.

"The key is to know where your house is and prepare for it," said Ed Caum, Public Communications Manager for Pasco County.

Right now, Pasco County is working on a flood risk study to update the 20-year-old flood maps for the county.  The flood forecast models have gotten better over the years, much like the hurricane forecast models have improved.  The flood maps based on the study with the new models will be more precise.

"We actually had 6000 homes came out of the old 100 year flood," said Caum. "So the study has shown that 6000 homes are safer than we thought they would be."

Counties are required to have paper flood maps available, but Pasco County has taken the maps into the digital age. They will now be interactive. You can zoom the map down to individual parcels of land.  By adding overlays of various flood levels, you can see which houses are underwater and which ones are dry.

"They're going to be able to look at their lot specifically and know where their lot sits within the 100 year flood," said Caum.  This will be information that homeowners can take to their insurance companies to see how the new maps affect their policies.

The study is complete for central Pasco County, centered around Interstate 75.  The study is ongoing for the coastal portions of the county.  The maps for that area will be finished by 2015.

The county is holding open houses for residents to review these maps and get questions answered by county engineers.  To review these new maps, Pasco County is hosting three open houses.  On Tuesday, November 5, the maps will be on display at the Hudson Region Library, 3:00pm-6:00pm.  The next open house is at the New River Branch Library in Zephryhills on Thursday, November 7, 3:00pm-7:00pm.  Finally, the Land O' Lakes Branch Library will hold an open house Saturday, November 9, 3:00pm-5:00pm.

The Public Comment and Appeal Period for these maps continues through January 14, 2014.  They should become effective by the fall of 2014.
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