Mexico Beach was ground zero for Hurricane Michael, destroying 70 percent of the resort community’s homes and businesses with its Category 5 winds and 18-foot storm surge.
Because its flood maps hadn’t been updated in 10 years, 80 percent of those structures were uninsured because FEMA placed them in flood zone “X” – areas that have low-to-moderate risks for flooding, according to a report by My Flood Risk, an affiliate of Melbourne, Fla.-based National Flood Insurance LLC.
“When it comes to uninsured flood victims in the United States, Florida’s Panhandle ranks the highest,” said Jennifer Scherff, marketing project manager for My Flood Risk. “Eighty percent percent of flood losses were uninsured.”
Those outdated maps pose a high risk to homeowners and business owners alike, said Amanda Bryant, director of operations for My Flood Risk. Many of those outdated flood maps are in parts of Florida hit hard by hurricanes in the last few years. Hurricane Irma caused $50 billion in damage in Florida, making it the most expensive in the state’s history. Michael caused $3 billion in the Florida Panhandle.