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For the first time in over thirty years, Palm Beach County will receive an update to the FEMA flood maps. The maps for the county have not been altered since 1989. This change comes three years after Broward County and eight years after Miami-Dade received updates to their flood maps. The changes to the flood maps will be in effect beginning on October 5th.

These changes can potentially disrupt sale of homes and business within Palm Beach County in areas where flooding is more likely to occur.

The newly released flood maps show an increase of more than 50,000 properties in Palm Beach County will now be considered in or touching flood zones, with most of these changes being in the western and central parts of the county.

According to Doug Wise, County Floodplain Administrator, 50,839 Palm Beach County parcels are moving to higher-risk flood zones and 36,983 are staying in.

A majority of these properties were not developed when the current flood maps were created in 1989 so they did not have any flood-risk classifications and insurance was not required by the property owners.

The change to the flood maps will result in an increase of individuals needing to purchase flood insurance who may have not had to in the past. Homeowners will only be required to buy flood insurance if they are located in what is considered a high risk area. A majority of the newly classified high-risk properties are located in the western part of Palm Beach County, including Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Greenacres and Westgate.

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