Updated Floodplain Maps available at Open Houses throughout Polk County
Bartow – Polk
County’s Board of County Commissioners will host a series of Open House
meetings in May to give residents and business owners an opportunity to view
and comment on soon-to-be released updated flood hazard maps. The maps can be
viewed online at www.polk-county.net/boccsite/your-government/floodplain-management or in person at the Polk County Floodplain Management
office, 330 W. Church Street in Bartow.
new maps show areas throughout the Southwest Florida Water Management District
(SWFWMD) portion of Polk County that are at risk for flooding and will be used
to help determine flood insurance and building requirements. The South Florida
Water Management District portion of Polk County, located along the east side
of the county, received updated maps in 2012.
maps were developed by SWFWMD, in partnership with the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) and Polk County. According to Randall Vogel, Polk
County’s floodplain manager, the process included an extensive, multi-year
review of the changes brought about by environmental, land use and other
forces, use of state-of-the-art aerial mapping and risk modeling techniques for
several new detailed study areas, and a comprehensive pre-release review. These
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are now in digital format for easier access on
the internet and will ultimately be used to determine flood insurance rates and
No formal presentations are scheduled; residents may come to view the floodplain maps anytime between 4:00–7:00 p.m. to the following locations:
Tuesday, May 12
Polk Street Community Center
1255 Polk Street, Bartow 33830
Wednesday, May 13
City of Lakeland, Magnolia Building
698 E. Orange Street, Lakeland 33801
Thursday, May 14
Winter Haven Chain O' Lakes Complex, Pool Room, South Entrance
210 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven 33880
FEMA, SWFWMD and county staff will be available at each public meeting to answer
questions about flood risk and insurance requirements.
In addition to the public meetings, there will be a 90-day public comment period
where property owners can submit appeals and comments if they can show that the
maps are technically or scientifically in error. Once all appeals and comments
are received and addressed, the maps are expected to become effective in summer
2016. At that time, flood insurance requirements related to the new map
information will take effect.
general questions about the local map update efforts call Polk County
Floodplain Management at (863) 534-6767 or (863) 534-6765. For information
about flood insurance, contact your local insurance agent or visit www.FloodSmart.gov.