South Sound News

New flood maps coming out in Pierce County after 30 years

LAKE TAPPS, Wash. — For the first time in 30 years, new flood maps are coming out that could affect thousands of homes in unincorporated Pierce County.

These new maps could make a difference in whether or not homeowners have to get flood insurance.

According to the Tacoma News Tribune, the Pierce County Council will vote Tuesday to approve the new flood zone maps as issued by FEMA. Follow this link to see the map from Pierce County Public Works.

The changes will affect 2,300 homeowners across unincorporated Pierce County.

Officials say about 1,500 properties will actually be taken out of flood zones, but some 800 will be added.

They say older maps were not as accurate in determining which homes have high flood risk, so some people have been paying a lot of money for flood insurance when they didn't need it.

"If you are in that high risk of flooding you may be paying $2,000 to $3,000 a year in flood insurance, so having the new maps that are coming along we have better topography, better representation of Lake Tapps and we are showing every single home in Lake Tapps now out of the flood plains,” said Dennis Dixon with Pierce County Service Water Management.

On the other hand, many who have not been paying flood insurance may soon be obligated to because of the new maps.

This goes for people who have a mortgage loan on a property within the new designated flood plains.

The new maps will go into effect March 7.

Officials say if you do have to get flood insurance, get it before that deadline and you are likely to get better rates.