SEBRING - The Southwest Florida Water Management District is gathering information to improve identification of flood prone areas in Highlands County's Carter Creek watershed.
Most of the currently available floodplain information is 10 to 30 years old and is outdated because of natural and physical changes caused by land use, development and erosion.
Residents living in the Carter Creek watershed are invited to attend an open house 4-6:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Bert J. Harris Jr. Agricultural Center, 4509 George Blvd.
District representatives will present preliminary floodplain information, explain the basis behind the findings and gather additional information that may be used to identify areas that are flood prone.
After addressing public comments, floodplain information will be finalized and presented to the district's governing board for authorization to use the data for regulatory purposes. This floodplain information for the Carter Creek watershed is not incorporated in the recently issued Federal Emergency Management Agency Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps. However, it may be used in future updates to the DFIRMs.
The floodplain information will be used by the county for land use and zoning decisions, to help manage development in and around floodplains and wetlands, to reduce flood risks, to preserve land and water resources and for emergency planning. It will also provide valuable information to the public for decisions about purchasing and protecting property.
For more information or to find out which watershed you live in, visit www.WaterMatters.org/FloodRisk/ or call the district at (352) 796-7211, ext. 4297.