Sorry, an error occurred.

Local public notices delivered daily to your email account.
Local weather information and warnings.
This week’s top entertainment stories.
The areas top boating and fishing news will be delivered to you email every Thursday morning.
When your e-Edition is ready to be read, we send you a reminder email each day letting you know.
Top headlines of the day, delivered to your email every morning.
When your e-Edition is ready to be read, we send you a reminder email each day letting you know.
Top headlines of the day, delivered to your email every morning.
When your e-Edition is ready to be read, we send you a reminder email each day letting you know.
Top headlines of the day, delivered to your email every morning.
When your e-Edition is ready to be read, we send you a reminder email each day letting you know.
The most recent obituaries, sent out every Wednesday and Saturday morning. 
Top headlines of the day, delivered to your email every morning.
When your e-Edition is ready to be read, we send you a reminder email each day letting you know.
The most recent obituaries newsletter, sent out every morning. 
Top headlines of the day, delivered to your email every morning.
Sign up with

Thank you .
Your account has been registered, and you are now logged in.
Check your email for details.
Invalid password or account does not exist
Sign in with
Submitting this form below will send a message to your email with a link to change your password.
An email message containing instructions on how to reset your password has been sent to the e-mail address listed on your account.

Secure & Encrypted
Secure transaction. Cancel anytime.

Thank you.
Your purchase was successful, and you are now logged in.
A receipt was sent to your email.
Street flooding caused by Hurricane Irma along West Retta Esplanade and Chasteen Street in Punta Gorda Sept. 11, 2017.
Charlotte County provides a side-by-side look at the old flood map used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on the right, and the proposed new map on the left. The example shows Harbor Heights, which could experience an increase in assessed flood risk if the new maps are implemented in 2023. Note how clicking on one spot shows the base flood elevation on that small quadrant would go from 1 foot to 10 feet, meaning the requirements for building there would be much higher.

Street flooding caused by Hurricane Irma along West Retta Esplanade and Chasteen Street in Punta Gorda Sept. 11, 2017.
Charlotte County provides a side-by-side look at the old flood map used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on the right, and the proposed new map on the left. The example shows Harbor Heights, which could experience an increase in assessed flood risk if the new maps are implemented in 2023. Note how clicking on one spot shows the base flood elevation on that small quadrant would go from 1 foot to 10 feet, meaning the requirements for building there would be much higher.
Uncertainty will reign another year for anyone building or living near water in Charlotte County.
That uncertainty has to do with federal flood maps. These maps of the landscape and of property can have effects on:
• How people can build a home.
• Whether people have to buy flood insurance.
• How much people will have to pay for flood insurance.
Anyone can look at FEMA’s proposed future maps, even though they are not official. The county has set up a website that shows FEMA maps as they are now compared to the new maps generated in 2019. The link is at .
Local officials and flood experts are seeing some neighborhoods are now considered higher flood risk with the new maps, and others are lower risk.
STICKER SHOCK?
The delay in updating flood maps locally has coincided with the Federal Emergency Management Agency initiating its flood insurance update called Risk Rating 2.0.
The insurance change affects the whole country at once. Map updates are happening one community or region at a time. Both changes are controlled by the federal government and both are using newer technological data, including satellites.
FEMA announced the new insurance program in October, however, new rates don’t take effect for existing policies until April 1. The insurance changes in the federal program are also likely to cause sticker shock, according Jim Nolan, with Nolan Family Insurance out of Punta Gorda.
With Risk Rating 2.0, rates can go up only 18% a year, Nolan said, but NFIP has target rates for each property. The new rates are supposed to help make the program solvent, but also reflect the reality of each property more accurately.
Each home is now evaluated separately instead of all homes in one flood zone receiving the same rating.
One goal was to encourage people not living in a flood zone to buy insurance from NFIP to broaden the pool. Nolan doesn’t believe that is going well. He is seeing the target rates for properties in some cases will be double and triple what they are now, even though it will take a few years to get there.
Of his own home, he said, which is not in a flood zone, he was told it will go from the current $500 a year to $2,200. Homes in the flood prone Punta Gorda Isles, he said, are heading up to $6,000. At some point, he said, people who don’t have to buy flood insurance will switch to self-insuring instead of buying from NFIP, if rates go too high.
For those whose property is low risk, private insurers offer flood insurance, he said, but they will pick those low risk properties. That means NFIP will be only high risk, and high cost, he said.
WHAT’S ON THE MAPS?
The newest delay in the final flood maps means updating flood maps in Charlotte County has turned into a nearly decade-long process, local officials noted.
It started in 2013 as local officials provided information to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Assistant County Administrator Claire Jubb told members of the earlier this month. The pandemic introduced longer delays, she said.
FEMA delayed public comment period on the Charlotte County maps during the pandemic and reopened it later. FEMA expects to present the maps to the county this summer, she said, after which there must be another six month wait period while the maps are published in the federal registry. They will likely not be official until 2023.
New flood maps throughout the country’s coast are using newer data estimating sea level — 1988 instead of 1920s, officials said.
While waiting for the new flood maps to become official for Charlotte County, people who want to build a new home in a potential flood zone have to decide whether to build to the new or the old standards. They will have to decide without knowing for sure what will happen. Some property owners are choosing to wait or sell their land, builder T.J. Thornberry, told The Daily Sun earlier.
In Charlotte County, the risk for various neighborhoods could be changing. Some neighborhoods, such as the coastal Pirate Harbor in south county, have been moved to lower risk. Another older neighborhood, Harbour Heights on the Peace River, is moving to a higher risk.
New in the 2019 maps, not yet official, is something called LIMWA or limit of moderate wave action, said Charlotte County Flood Plain Coordinator Donna Bailey. FEMA determined that there has been substantial damage by lower waves, not just the big ones. So regions may now be labeled as susceptible to these waves.
All of these determinations affect how a house can be built and how much flood insurance will cost. Most flood insurance in flood zones is provided by FEMA through the National Flood Insurance Program, which began decades ago as private insurers had declined to offer it.
NFIP is always in the red, and Congress has had to forgive billion of dollars in debt several times.
Email: betsy.calvert@yoursun.com

The search box at  operates by searching a property owner name, which takes you to an area of the map. A click on a section of the map will note if it is in a flood zone. 
Your comment has been submitted.

Reported
There was a problem reporting this.
Log In
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

source