TAVARES – Flooding causes more property damage in the United States than any other type of natural disaster, and the Lake County Public Works Department is urging homeowners to be sure they are protected.
“While flooding can happen anywhere, certain areas of Lake County are especially prone to flooding,” said Nicholas Mcray, Lake County’s Stormwater Project Manager. “It is important to remember that standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover floods.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in partnership with Lake County, has identified portions of the county as being in a Special Flood Hazard Area, which is an area where the mandatory purchase of flood insurance applies for federally backed mortgages. Properties in the county fall into three categories:
• High Risk Area - There is at least a one in four chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. All homes and business owners in these areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to buy flood insurance. Properties are labeled A or AE on the flood map.
• Moderate to Low Risk Areas – The risk of being flooded is reduced but not completely removed. These areas submit over 20 percent of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding. Flood insurance isn’t required in these areas, but is recommended for all property owners and renters. Properties are labeled B, C or X on the flood map.
• Undetermined Risk Areas – No flood-hazard analysis has been conducted in these areas, but a flood risk still exists. Flood insurance rates reflect the uncertainty of the flood risk. Properties are labeled D on the flood map.
To decrease your chances of becoming a victim of flooding, carefully consider the location of your building, construct floodwalls and berms to divert water from the property, or retrofit the structure to make it flood-proof. It’s also important that the building site has the proper lot grading to insure that water is diverted away from any structures, dispersing it and collecting it in retention ponds or swales.
NFIP allows some property owners to purchase flood insurance on eligible buildings and contents, whether or not they live in a floodplain. To find a local insurance agent in your area, visit www.floodsmart.gov. For more information about floodplains, contact Lake County Public Works at 352-483-9081 or view the floodplain map at www.lakecountyfl.gov/pdfs/gis/maps/FloodZones_22x34.pdf.