CARTER COUNTY, OK -- New flood maps of Carter County are being released by FEMA. The maps show updated floodplains for the region and take effect starting Monday, April 19th.
While Carter County hasn't seen any severe flooding in recent history, the danger is still present.
The new flood maps break the county down into different sections, and detail the low lying areas.
"With the flood insurance studies along with the maps we can determine, and notify people - when you go to build in this area, this is what you need to build, to in order to be above the base flood elevations," Paul Tucker, the Carter Co. Emergency Management Director, said.
Tucker says the maps allow home owners or business owners to make informed decisions to protect their property and their livelihood against the natural disaster of flooding.
FEMA in turn, reworks the maps because the agency says landscape can change with construction or expanding neighborhoods.
“The new maps show the location of the 1% and .02% floodplains that's otherwise known as the 100 and 500 year floodway and those show where you might have possible flooding risks for residences and businesses,” Earl Armstrong, with FEMA, said.
For example, the FEMA flood maps show much of the area South and East of Gene Autry, around the Washita River is in a flood plain.
"Flooding is very destructive. It can destroy sheet rock in your home, insulation, damage your belongings. The water itself, whether it is moving or not, can also bring down a home,” Tucker said.
FEMA recommends all residents carry flood insurance, saying even areas outside a flood plain can flood.
Many homeowners inside a floodplain are required to have the extra coverage by their mortgage company or lender.
To learn more about the flood maps and insurance, go to http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/