FEMA proposes flood map change in Fort Myers Beach

Published: March 2, 2017 9:57 PM EST
Updated: March 3, 2017 2:23 PM EST

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. Changes are on the way for a two-mile stretch of Estero Beach Boulevard.

Last month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency proposed raising the base flood elevation from Flamingo Street to Buccaneer Drive from “VE,” meaning the area has a high risk for flooding, to “VA,” which is a slightly lower risk.

But this could be a costly change for homes and businesses built after 1984, as structures not built at a certain height will pay extra.

“If newer, it must be rated with an elevation certificate and that’s where it could get ugly,” said Richard Karger, president of Fort Myers Beach Insurance Brokerage.

Jacki Liszak, owner of the Sea Gypsy Inn, says she went from paying around $3,000 to $47,000 for flood insurance because of the FEMA flood map change.

“My flood insurance rate adjusted for over 2,000 percent,” she said. “Your rate will increase, so you need to stay involved and in touch with the group that’s leading the charge in this area because being taken by surprise is real awful position to be in — it’s really terrible.”

If you have questions about the changes, Karger recommends contacting your insurance provider.

Click here for a closer look at the FEMA flood map change.