FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Families looking to buy or replace a mobile home in certain areas of Lee County will have to face new flood regulations in the near future.
Every three years the county is audited by FEMA contractors to verify their flood mitigation efforts and compliance with FEMA requirements to justify their flood insurance discounts.
To maintain current flood insurance discounts, new elevation requirements for mobile homes must eventually be adopted.
Families who live in areas prone to flooding like Fort Myers Beach, where homes are installed or replaced in special flood hazard areas will eventually be required to elevate such that the lowest floors are at or above the base flood elevation level plus one foot.
On Tuesday, Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman said these changes help keep residents safe.
“One of the biggest problems we have, when we face a major hurricane, is the flooding because we can hide you from the wind and the strong shelter but we can't get you out of the flooding,” said Hamman.
So coastal areas like Port Carlos Cove off Fort Myers Beach could start to see these changes for mobile homes being built.
Neighbors like Steve Prenoveau, who has already lifted his home 4 feet, said it's a give and take.
“I think it's saved many people from flooding here. Unfortunately, you have to walk up into your house, the stairs can be a little bit of an inconvenience,” said Prenoveau.
An inconvenience commissioner Hamman said helps the county meet FEMA requirements, which in turn, means a 25% discount for residents' flood insurance.
Savings Hamman said are estimated to equal $13.8 million dollars each year.
“It's important that we look at these new regulations to give our residents the best chance to have the most affordable flood insurance,” said Hamman.
A link to the FEMA flood maps can be found by clicking here.