WJTV News Channel 12 - New flood maps could change your flood zone, cost you money

New flood maps could change your flood zone, cost you money

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Gina Zink's Holiday home is not currently considered to be located in a flood zone, but that is changing.

New national flood maps show part of her lawn will soon be in a flood zone. That could mean she will have to fork over extra money for flood insurance to insure her house.

"I really didn't think it was going to turn out this way," Zink said.

Zink isn't the only homeowner finding out their flood zone status is changing.

Patrick Alesandrini, of the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser's Office, says flood maps haven't changed since 1980.

Newer technology is supposed to make the maps more accurate and make sure homeowners have the insurance they need. But it could also cause confusion for homeowners, Alesandrini said.

"There's a chance you weren't in a flood plain before and now you are," he said. "There's also a chance for flood zones to change."

New maps for most Bay area counties are still in the works. Pasco county's map is finished. Alesandrini says thousands of property owners could see big changes in their property's status.

Doug Tobin, Pasco County Spokesman, agrees and says homeowners should look at the new maps closely.

Even if you find part of your property is now in a flood zone, you can ask for an amendment to take your property out of the zone. Homeowners can apply for an amendment from the federal government to clarify that the house itself is not in a high risk zone, and that could keep you from having to buy an expensive flood insurance policy you don't need.

"It could cost anywhere from $100 to $500, but it is worth it because most mortgage companies do accept the federal letter of map amendment," Tobin said.

Zink says she'll look into the amendment because she doesn't feel she needs flood insurance.

"I feel like we don't need to purchase the flood insurance," Zink says. "We've lived here for seven years. We have never had any issues."

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.



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