New flood map of Glynn County may lower insurance premiums, not risk of damage

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Experts say a new federal flood map of Glynn County along Georgia’s coast may lower insurance premiums next year — but not the risk of flooding.

The updated Flood Insurance Rate Map, drawn by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will take effect Jan. 5, The Brunswick News reported.

The map will reclassify many area homes from zones of high flooding likelihood to more moderate categories.

But all remain susceptible to flooding, said Jay Wiggins, head of Glynn County emergency management.

A Category 5 hurricane, like the one that recently roared through the Caribbean Sea, could flood the entire county, Wiggins said.

“We are a community that is prone to flooding,” he said. “We have seen it in the past, and we will see more in the future.”

Most flood zones are areas that have a one percent chance each year of being inundated by water, either from flash flooding or, on the coast, hurricane storm surge, The Brunswick News reported.

The one percent chance is often called a “100-year flood,” the Brunswick paper reported.

Just because the flood maps are being redrawn, homeowners should not be lulled into a false sense of security, said Deborah McCracken of the insurance firm Assurant Flood Solutions.

“These maps will give some (insurance) rate relief, but not from the risk of flooding,” McCracken said. “You may hear your neighbors say their house isn’t in a flood zone, but guess what? It is.”

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