By Dan Reichard, Realtor®, Smith and Associates Real Estate
April 2, 2019 — Most flood maps for Pinellas County, including St. Petersburg, Tierra Verde, and St. Pete Beach, were last updated in 2003. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been working to update the maps in our area, and the agency has released its preliminary findings to the public.
As you may know, the base flood elevation (BFE) of a home is a key element used to determine flood risk and the associated costs of flood insurance. Thankfully, the preliminary maps indicate mostly favorable changes in our area by lowering the designated BFE or making no change to it. But some areas, such as parts of St. Petersburg and Safety Harbor, are not so fortunate.
I want to stress that the data released by FEMA is preliminary, and there is no indication of when (or if) the new maps will become effective. But to get an idea what the impact may be of the preliminary flood maps on your flood risk, please visit FEMA’s online mapping tool at fema.maps.arcgis.com. Follow these directions:
- After launching the map link above, enter the desired address in the upper right-hand location search window.
- Select the desired address from the drop-down list of addresses.
- In the left-hand white dialogue box, click on the black pin to select the location tool.
- Click your cursor on the map location you are researching — you may have to close the “search result” dialogue box to display the location you wish to place your pin — to place the pin.
- Click “Execute” in the left-hand white dialogue box to initiate the report comparing current BFE of the selected location to the preliminary new BFE.
- Click on the red web address link when it appears to display, download and save you custom location BFE report.
For additional guidance on how to utilize the online mapping tool, please view my very brief video tutorial below.