New March 17, 2014 Flood Zone Maps, possible changes of mandatory Flood Insurance requirements for federally insured mortgages
Brevard County is participating in the nationwide effort by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to replace the old system of paper-based flood zone maps with new "Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps," or DFIRMs. Modern aerial mapping methods, using laser measurements and computer modeling, have created the opportunity for much more accurate maps.
For some homeowners and business owners this may be of importance as the new maps may include a change in flood risk classification for your property and changes in flood risk classification may affect your mortgage loan requirements.
GOOD NEWS, approximately 2000 structures have been removed from the Special Flood Hazard Area in Palm Bay. Most of these are in the western section of the City, where several thousand vacant parcels have also been removed from the special Flood Hazard Area and the requirement to carry flood insurance to get a federally insured mortgage. Home owners would qualify for a Preferred Risk Flood Insurance Policy if they choose.
Changes presented on the new maps are based on a study FEMA recently completed using updated flood models and base flood elevation data. Letter of Final Determination (LFD) [PDF] dated September 17, 0213.
FIRM Map Update Schedule: March 17, 2014
Surge Map: June 16, 2016
For assistance, contact Jim Williams, CFM, Flood Plain Administrator, at (321) 733-3042 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Historically, even during major storm events, there has been little structural flood damage in Palm Bay. We have the Indian River Lagoon on our eastern boundary and the St. Johns River and Marsh to the west that poses flood hazards during severe rain events.
The City is working continuously to minimize flood risks to you, your loved ones, and property. We want to make you aware of flood hazards and what can be done to minimize these conditions.
Our staff of Professional Engineers, Flood Plain Manager, and drainage experts have received special training that makes them a resource for you. They know how to interpret the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to assess your risk, they can help inspect your property to identify potential weaknesses that increase your risk of flood damage, and they can provide recommendations on things that can be done.
The National Weather Service webpage http://www.srh.weather.gov
Click to enlarge image [PDF]
Click to enlarge image [PDF]
The United States Geological Survey provides on-line access to river gage stations along Turkey Creek. These sites provide real-time data on river levels and flow rates, as well as historical data, to allow users to make informed decisions on flooding threats at any given time.
Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. Why? The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded. Whether you are driving or walking, if you come to a flooded road, Turn Around Don't Drown. You will not know the depth of the water nor will you know the condition of the road under the water.
Congress passed the FLOOD INSURANCE REFORM ACT of 2012 Posted: Thursday, 5/23/13
Major Flood Insurance Changes Coming Learn More
FEMA Flood Insurance Refund Policy
Normally with a mortgage, your flood insurance is paid in one yearly premium (in advance) from your escrow account.
You can see under # 9 on the included Cancellation / Nullification policy [PDF] for flood insurance, whenever there is a physical map revision within 6 months of your flood policy premium due date, and flood ins. is no longer required, you are entitled to a refund. Cancellation Form with Disclosure [PDF].
If your escrow account paid your Flood Insurance premium after Sept. 17, 2013, the new Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Effective Date is March 17, 2014 and your property is removed from the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) on the new map, you should get a full refund for the flood insurance premium that was paid after Sept. 17, 2013. Also your contributions into your escrow account each month should decrease the amount that was being saved each month for the yearly flood insurance premium. See the FEMA Cancelation/ Nullification Policy. Properties rezoned to X now qualify for a “Preferred Risk Policy”, check to see about converting your existing policy to a Preferred Risk Policy, it will give you the same coverage at a reduced rate if you choose.
There is no mechanism to guarantee the new maps are reviewed by the bank or your insurance company. The bank has to acknowledge you are no longer in a SFHA. Your insurance company may notify the bank you are no longer in a SFHA on the new FEMA map and are no longer required to carry flood insurance, but this responsibility is on the individual homeowner to determine if they have been removed from the SFHA and the requirement to carry flood insurance for a federally insured mortgage.
The new maps have been accepted and become effective on March 17, 2014.
Your insurance agent should be aware of this refund policy and hopefully the new maps will be accepted within that 6 month time window from your policy due date.
Please contact me if I can be of further assistance,
Jim Williams CFM
120 Malabar Rd. SE
Palm Bay, 32907
Floodplain Management Plan Progress Report
Updated: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013
The City of Palm Bay uses our portion of the Brevard Prepares “Local Mitigation Strategy” (LMS) plan for our “Comprehensive Floodplain Management Plan”. The LMS combined with our Public Works Standard Operating Procedures for Stormwater and Floodplain Management (PWSOP 26) and our CRS outreach activities are used to provide the optimum flood protection for the citizens of Palm Bay. View Progress Report [PDF]