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Crews survey flood-prone areas to seek improvements

This is a Key Largo neighborhood flooded by Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Monroe County officials seek information on flood-prone areas to help lower insurance costs.
This is a Key Largo neighborhood flooded by Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Monroe County officials seek information on flood-prone areas to help lower insurance costs. Keynoter

To help trim flood-insurance costs, Monroe County staff and contractors want to hear from property owners with flooding problems.

“This Repetitive Loss Area Analysis is part of an ongoing effort to obtain greater discounts for most of the 15,000 flood insurance policy holders in unincorporated Monroe County through the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System,” county information officer Cammy Clark said.

The voluntary Community Rating System program rewards communities that take actions that exceed the minimum standards required by the National Flood Insurance Program to protect people and property from flooding.

Monroe County staff and contractors have started conducting visual surveys to collect information about structures in designated areas of the unincorporated county “to determine the best alternatives for protecting buildings from future flooding,” Clark said.

Buildings are cataloged and photographed from the street.

“The staff are not Code Compliance officers and are not visually surveying properties to identify code violations,” Clark said. “They have county-issued identification and are prepared to speak with you about flooding concerns associated with your property, as well as the nature of the work they are performing.”

Previous measures in Monroe County’s efforts have earned enough credits for a 25 percent discount for many residential and business flood-insurance policyholders, tentatively scheduled to take effect Oct. 1.

With the new efforts, discounts could increase to 30 percent, estimated at an average savings of $360 per annual policy, in late 2018. To earn the 30 percent discount, the county’s latest efforts include exploring ways to reduce flood losses in the areas where multiple flood-insurance claims have been made for repair of buildings.

Residents and business owners in repetitive loss areas are encouraged to provide information about floods that have affected their property. To be part of the solution, residents and business owners can complete an online questionnaire at www.monroecounty-fl.gov/floodform.

Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206

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