Sussex County Flood Insurance Rates Could Change With New Map - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Flood Insurance Rates Could Change With New Map

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LEWES, De. - Homeowners in Sussex County gathered at the CHEERS Community Center to discuss federally-mandated changes to the Flood Insurance Rate Map that are looming. The county hasn't updated its map since 2005, and the change is meant to modernize the ever-changing flood plains. The change means that some will be paying more, and others will be paying less, depending on where they live in the county.

Ed McCaffrey of Lewes navigated through the online portal Monday morning. His home in downtown Lewes was directly in the flood-risk zone, as it's been for a long time.

"This street here is one of the lower places in this whole island," he said. "I mean - we get water when a lot of people don't get water."

And with these flood risks, come higher insurance rates. McCaffrey said the insurance rates were so high, that he decided to drop his plan all together. Instead, he raised his home off the ground, in an attempt to avoid potential damage. Now as the flood map is reevaluated, he said he hoped his rates might have dropped. Unfortunately due to his close proximity to the waterline, this was not the case.

Down the road, Christine Long said flooding in Sussex County goes far beyond just the ocean and the bay. Her home not only feels the flooding from the Atlantic Ocean, but also from a small canal that takes in water from the community. These flood-risks drive up the cost of her insurance, something that has made it difficult for her to stay in Lewes.

"I understood some of the risk," she said as she looked over her home. "But certainly it's a different landscape now."

The meeting began at 4:00 in Georgetown, and was attended by members from The Delaware Department of Natural Resources, The Federal Emergency Management Agency and The County Council meeting. Long, suffering from a broken leg didn't attend the meeting, but said the high insurance rates were a concern for her.

"It's not going to be a debate," she said referring to the possibility of her moving. "It's going to be a matter of numbers. What can I afford to handle and what I can't."

To check your insurance rates under the new map, you can visit the Sussex County Portal at http://maps.riskmap3.com/DE/Sussex1/.

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