Under new FEMA regulations, insurance rates for property owners in flood zones are going to increase. This is because Congress passed a bill last year to end the practice of subsidizing flood rates over time, said Mathews County Building Official Jamie Wilkes. But the news isn’t all bad for Mathews County.
At an informational meeting in the historic courthouse on Monday, Mathews officials were told that while a few people might be required to purchase flood hazard insurance for the first time next year, some of the land in the county is no longer in the 100-year flood hazard zone, so those property owners eventually will not be required to purchase flood insurance.
Paul Moye, a civil engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District, discussed the updated topographical information that will be used for flood maps in the county beginning next year. New base flood elevations collected during a region-wide storm study conducted last year found that a wide swath of the west central portion of Gwynn’s Island, a couple of patches in the Garden Creek area, small areas along Blackwater Creek, and a few spots along Route 14 heading south to New Point are now high enough to be out of the flood zone.
Surprisingly, he said, "we don’t have a whole lot of areas where (the flood plain) has increased."