New FEMA flood maps confuse some St. Johns County area homeowners

Local homeowners are upset and confused about new Federal Emergency Management Agency maps that put their homes or part of their property into flood zones.

“We love everything about this neighborhood,” says Michael Murphy, who's lived in the Stonehurst development off County Road 210 in St. Johns County since 2011. “But during the hurricane, they said anyone in Zone A needs to evacuate, so do we need to evacuate now or not?"

FEMA is updating its flood mapping for the first time since 2004.

The new flood zone maps for St. Johns County show Murphy's home and property have moved from Zone C to  Zone A , a mandatory evacuation area.

However, there is uncertainty because a St. Johns County spokesperson says only Murphy’s backyard is in Zone A, while his home and front yard remain in Zone C.

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FEMA is using new technology such as laser beams and computer modeling for the mapping.

The goal is to help homeowners avoid devastating flooding from hurricanes and other storms.

“There may be some financial impact for homeowners,” says insurance agent Dane McGraw.

According to FEMA, the average flood insurance policy currently costs about $700 per year, but it can vary, depending, on the elevation of a home.

Action News Jax emailed FEMA for clarification on its zones and is waiting for a response.