The good news is people in Collier County care about whether or not they need flood insurance.
The bad news is that curiosity crashed the county's flood maps website.
The 2012 Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) flood zone maps went into effect Wednesday for insurance purposes for all areas, including unincorporated Collier County, Immokalee and the cities of Naples, Marco Island, and Everglades City.
And for some homeowners, the need to insure their homes against a flood event just became mandatory.
The maps, which are color-coded and searchable by address, are available for viewing at www.colliergov.net/floodmaps. However, the colors did not have a legend with the map Thursday evening, as a result of the crash. The county is rebuilding the map website one layer at a time, said Robert Wiley, Collier County flood zone map project manager.
The maps colors have the following designations:
Red — The area could be affected by the 1 percent annual chance of flooding with additional hazards due to storm-induced velocity wave action.
Blue — The area could be affected by the 1 percent annual chance of flooding.
Orange — The area could be affected by a 1 percent annual chance shallow flooding.
Pink/purple — A moderate flood hazard area.
Yellow — A moderate flood hazard area.
Gray — An area subject to inundation by the 1 percent annual flood event.
The red, blue, orange and gray zones are in the special flood-hazard area, Wiley said. They require mandatory flood insurance if there are federal dollars attached to the house, like a mortgage backed by a federal institution or a home built with federal grants.
The pink/purple and yellow zones are outside of the special flood hazard area and do not require mandatory flood insurance by federal requirement, Wiley said.
While the maps were already in effect for building permits in the county, Wednesday's deadline affects residences and commercial properties. All property owners are asked to check their addresses on the map to determine if they need additional coverage, Wiley said.
Generally, the Golden Gate and Golden Gate Estates areas are among the most affected in Collier.
Lee County's flood maps were finalized by FEMA in August 2008. Property owners can look up their particular flood zone at www.lee-county.com/dcd/fema.htm.