Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Santa Fe River Flood Zone Changes

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – If you’re a property owner in and around the Santa Fe River your flood insurance coverage might soon need to be adjusted.

Living near a large body of water, such as a lake, river or stream, comes with it’s own risks. And for those who live along the Santa Fe River this risk assessment is undergoing some changes.

Suwannee River Water Management District officials are updating flood zones within the Santa Fe watershed that will come with updates. And these modifications could affect things like a property owner’s flood insurance policy.

There are periodic updates to maps based on new technology. Sometimes maps change based on development, meaning there are going to be some people who are currently in a flood zone who are going to find that they are no longer in a one based on these updated maps. On the contrary, there are also going to be some people who are not currently in a flood zone that may find themselves in one meaning possible changes to owners’ flood insurance policy.

Updated flood risk assessment maps will change who is in a flood zone near the Santa Fe River Basin.(Suwannee River Water Management District)

It is important to note that the zone changes are in the preliminary stages and there is still time to have them adjusted.

Troy Roberts; Outreach Manager for the Suwannee River Water Management District explains. “We want to give people the opportunity to ask questions, make sure that you know their homes are in the properly designated areas and if they don’t feel that they are, we are giving them these meetings that they can come express their concerns and we can incorporate that feedback into these plans.”

Some areas within this basin have not seen an update to flood zones in nearly 10 years, but since officials are looking at the entire basin itself, they’re redoing all of it.

Roberts; “This is something we’ve been working on since about 2018, it’s not a short process. There is a lot of information and a lot of detail that goes into it and we obviously want to make sure that all the information going into it is correct.”

If you have questions or concerns you must bring them to upcoming meetings in February. Date, location, and time are listed below.

  • February 21, 2023 – Bradford County Courthouse in Starke – 5 pm to 8 pm
  • February 22, 2023 – James A. Lewis Commission Chambers in Alachua – 5 pm to 8 pm
  • February 23, 2023 – Westside Community Center in Lake City – 5 pm to 8 pm

For those who cannot attend in person, an online option will be available before the meeting. Additionally, a link to an online portal will be available later this month for residents to review maps and locate their property to see how it may be impacted. The link will be provided at www.MySuwanneeRiver.com.

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