FEMA has issued new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) along the Ten Mile Canal that will become effective Dec. 7, 2018.

This map revision process began in 2011 to correct the floodway boundaries of the Ten Mile Canal Regulatory Floodway.  FEMA first revealed these revisions in preliminary maps issued in December 2015.  In early 2016, Lee County posted the preliminary maps online and included the “preliminary map search option” in its digital “flood zone look-up” applications through the GIS maps and apps webpage.

The new maps more accurately assess flood risk along the canal than the existing maps, which were effective in 2008.  These revisions are not directly related to Hurricane Irma.  However, a Lee County consultant validated the accuracy of the proposed maps using the rainfall volumes and velocities from the two 2017 rain events that caused flooding along the canal.

Scroll below for more details.


Changes to these Flood Insurance Rate Maps will affect property owners who have mortgages and/or National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies, and those who are applying for building permits.  Many parcel owners along Ten Mile Canal will benefit from these changes. They may have lower insurance premiums and may be relieved of engineering costs associated with obtaining a building permit for minor projects.

Effects vary by parcel, but fall into three general categories:

  • Those who were not previously in need of flood insurance may now need it:  Approximately 358 structures in unincorporated Lee County are newly classified as being in the Special Flood Hazard Area.  Mortgage lenders will now require flood insurance for these structures.  For these structures, National Flood Insurance Program policies can be purchased at lower, preferred rates prior to Dec. 7, 2018.  Or, an NFIP policy can be purchased under beneficial “newly mapped rating” procedures within 45 days of notification by a lender, provided that the lender notifies you within 24 months of the revision.
  • Those who already have flood insurance may see rates increase: Base flood elevations, which are used to determine insurance rates, are increasing for 422 structures in unincorporated Lee County.  Those who already have National Flood Insurance Program policies should contact their insurance agent to determine if this change affects their premiums.
  • Those who now have stricter engineering requirements may have those loosened:  Approximately 351 parcels that previously were within the FEMA-designated regulatory floodway in unincorporated Lee County may no longer be within those floodway boundaries. Being in a FEMA-designated regulatory floodway requires engineering certification for most building permits from fences and sheds to new houses.

These maps cannot be used for flood insurance purposes until the December effective date.

Information about flood insurance premium rates must be obtained from an insurance agent. Lee County encourages you to contact your insurance agent or mortgage lender as well with any additional questions.

To find out how the Dec. 7, 2018, map changes affect you, find your property through an easy to use interactive map app named “Find My Revised Flood Zone (Ten Mile Canal effective 12/7/18).”


The FEMA case number associated with this revision is 12-04-7499P. Only seventeen FIRM panels within unincorporated Lee County have been revised in relation to this particular case.

Other areas of the City of Fort Myers and the Village of Estero have been affected. Please contact their offices for information within those jurisdictions.

  • Details of each panel – NOTE: these 17 panels (for unincorporated Lee County) address either floodway, flood zone and/or Base Flood Elevation revisions. Note that some parcels within each panel may have no changes at all.
  • The new suffix for these 17 revised panels will be "G."
    • 0289 effective 12/07/18
    • 0295 effective 12/07/18
    • 0426 effective 12/07/18 
    • 0427 effective 12/07/18
    • 0428 effective 12/07/18
    • 0429 effective 12/07/18
    • 0431 effective 12/07/18
    • 0433 effective 12/07/18
    • 0436 effective 12/07/18
    • 0437 effective 12/07/18
    • 0438 effective 12/07/18 (map not yet available)
    • 0439 effective 12/07/18
    • 0576 effective 12/07/18
    • 0577 effective 12/07/18
    • 0578 effective 12/07/18
    • 0592 effective 12/07/18
    • 0594 effective 12/07/18
    • Map Index
  • The FIS (Flood Insurance Study) has been revised as well:


Find My Revised Flood Zone (Ten Mile Revisions) Interactive Map


Definitions:

Special Flood Hazard Area:  (Also referred to as the “Flood Zone”) The land area that could be covered by floodwaters in the event of the base flood. These areas are where the National Flood Insurance Program’s floodplain management regulations must be enforced and where the mandatory purchase of flood insurance applies for federally backed mortgages. Flood zones are labeled as AE, AH and V.

FEMA designated Regulatory Floodway:  Within some Special Flood Hazard Areas, FEMA has designated regulatory floodways along some rivers, creeks or other water channels. A floodway is the surrounding ground area (near the water body) where the water will overflow in the event of a flood. FEMA regulates filling and construction in floodways to allow floodwaters to be discharged without raising surface water levels beyond a specific designated height. Most construction projects in a floodway require engineering certification.

Unincorporated Lee County:  Any land area that is not incorporated (not located within a city limit).

Base Flood Elevations:  The computed elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during the base flood. Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).

FIRM:  Flood Insurance Rate Maps are the official map of a community on which FEMA has delineated both the special flood hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the community. FIRM’s are the basis for floodplain management, mitigation and flood insurance activities in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

FIS: A Flood Insurance Study is a report prepared by FEMA that summarizes an analysis of the flood hazards in a community. The analysis used to prepare a FIS is also used to prepare a FIRM (flood insurance rate map), which is a map that shows the special flood hazard areas in a community. The FIS provides information to supplement the FIRM.


Get general information about flood insurance