New Pierce County flood risk maps could mean costly insurance requirements for homeowners

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PARKLAND, Wash. — Hundreds of homeowners in Pierce County could be in for a big and expensive surprise.

New flood risk maps show many people may have to begin paying for flood insurance for the first time.

The old flood zone maps were prepared in the ’80s but now, thanks to new technology, nearly 1,500 homeowners could soon be out of flood zones, while some 800 others will now be in them and will have to pay hundreds of dollars a year.

County engineer Dennis Dixon describes the striking difference a few decades make, highlighting neighborhoods along Lake Tapps that could show relief for homeowners.

“The new mapping stops the flood plain here at the water’s edge and none of the homes on Lake Tapps along this bank are in this flood plain,” he said.

The rain keeps falling in Western Washington and some cities could see the wettest February on record.

The new maps highlight homes at risk for creek and river flooding, even high tides.

County engineers said they should give homeowners a more accurate picture of their risk for falling victim to a flood.

Officials said homeowners should check with the county to see how the maps may have changed in their neighborhood, and if they have to buy insurance, do it before March 7 to lock in a cheaper rate.

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