A real underwater threat for homeowners

Lower insurance rates apply until new maps enacted

If there seems to be a rising tide of properties subject to flood zones, that is no illusion.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, four years into a flood-map modernization process that wraps up in 2010, reports an increase in properties identified at risk of flooding, and this upsurge presents landowners with new decisions.

In communities that voluntarily participate in floodplain management, relatively affordable flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program.