Mobile County

Flood insurance rates could rise for thousands in Mobile County

Saraland, AL (WKRG) - If you think you’re paying enough for flood insurance, a change could be coming.  Newly released flood maps could change insurance rates around Mobile County.  

Along Bayou Sara, Tom Hester’s home is high on a hill.  Hopefully, it is high enough to avoid paying more for flood insurance because he says the bills can add up.  

"By the time you have the wind and the regular home insurance, and all the other it’s the most insurance we’ve ever paid," said homeowner Tom Hester.  Right now there are a lot of questions among homeowners about how much this could potentially cost them over the next few years.  

"I think it’s unfair to the homeowner, I mean instantly we’re already paying high taxes," said homeowner Mike Baros.  Baros says high flood insurance rates are one of the reasons he’s having trouble selling his home also near water.  County Commissioner Jerry Carl says they’re trying to get in front of the issue.  

"I understand the insurance company is going broke, they can’t cover all these flood disasters we’re having but I feel like the impact it’s going to have on so many residents is not fair," said Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl.  Homeowners may see rates go up later this year.  

Here's a list of community meetings to discuss the flood issue from the Mobile County Commission:

The Mobile County Commission will host open house format community meetings from 5 - 7 p.m. on the dates listed:

Feb. 20 - Saraland/Satsuma/Creola, Central Church of Christ, 225 Saraland Blvd., South (Hwy. 43)

Feb 22 - Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Shelby Center, 101 Bienville Blvd.

Feb. 27 - Bayou la Batre Civic Center, 12745 Padgett Switch Road, (County Road 23), Irvington

March 6 - Fowl River/Hollinger’s Island, Fowl River Community Center, 5401 Fowl River Rd., Theodore    

March 13 - West Mobile - Semmes Recreation and Community Center, 10141 Moffett Road, Semmes
In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Alabama Office of Water Resources (OWR) will host an open house on March 8, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Mobile Civic Center, 401 Civic Center Dr. in downtown Mobile.

The goal of the federal flood map program is to prevent loss of life, protect property and preserve the natural functions of the flood plains. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) updates maps to reflect the improvements in technology and calculation methods. The last update for Mobile County became effective in March of 2010. The new update is expected to become effective in 2019.-- Mobile County News release

The link to the flood map is here. 

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