Months before Hurricane Irma and the local flooding events of late summer 2017, the Village of Estero commissioned a study of its waterways with a goal of understanding how stormwater flows through the Village, including identification of drainage problem areas. Last summer’s flooding events provided an unprecedented test of the Village’s stormwater management system and valuable data to enhance the Stormwater Master Plan. What follows is a quick look at the Master Plan, along with recently updated Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

Stormwater Master Plan
JR Evans Engineering is conducting the Village’s first Stormwater Master Plan, expected to be completed in July 2018. The Stormwater Master Plan will provide the Village and its residents a better understanding of how the local stormwater management system functions and how to improve areas which are functioning below standards.
Since properties surrounding Estero impact its stormwater system, the Master Plan includes areas from Lehigh Acres to Bonita Springs in its analysis. Stormwater models will be used to identify areas more susceptible to flooding and to help pinpoint their causes. Based on this analysis, the Master Plan will provide recommendations to reduce future flooding. These could include improved maintenance or capital improvement projects to increase storage or improve the flow of water.
The Master Plan also will be used as a tool to assess how future developments might affect local or regional drainage. This will allow the Village to work with landowners to improve stormwater designs and better protect water resources, including Estero River and Estero Bay.

FEMA Map Updates
The FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) that cover the Village were adopted back in 2008. A lot has changed in and around the Village since then. In response to some of these changes, FEMA has been updating maps for the south branch of the Estero River — generally encompassing the area between US 41 and I-75 south of Corkscrew Road and a small area just north of Corkscrew Road along Country Creek Drive and See See Street. FEMA published preliminary maps in 2014 which would have resulted in larger floodplains, requiring even more Estero residents to obtain flood insurance at higher rates. At the request of Estero, Lee County commissioned a study which determined the flood elevations should be lower and the flood plain limits should be smaller.
FEMA accepted the results of this study and published updated preliminary maps on February 14, 2018. After the maps have been completed and adopted, the Village of Estero will notify residents through the Village’s website, Facebook page and directly to email subscribers.

How will these map changes affect you?
The effect will vary from property to property. Some will not be affected; others will no longer be required to buy flood insurance or will see reduced insurance rates. The following maps provide an example area located south of Corkscrew Road, between River Ranch Road and Three Oaks Parkway. In both the 2008 and 2014 maps, the entire area is within the 100-year flood plain and floodway, making flood insurance recommended or required, depending on mortgage status. In the proposed 2018 map, the floodplain and floodway have been significantly reduced, and the areas in white will no longer be required to purchase flood insurance. Areas still within the floodplain could also see reduced premiums.
For specific questions regarding your property, contact the Village of Estero Public Works Department.

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Contact the Village
To receive the latest information about Village projects and community activities, go to the Village website and subscribe at www.estero-fl.gov.

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