NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — This week, hundreds of Davidson County residents will receive a letter in the mail stating that their properties are now classified as being in a flood plain. On February 25, 61 updated map panels go into effect. For many, this means that they will need a flood insurance policy.

The new maps from FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, and Metro Water Services now show areas within the flood plain that were previously unmapped. This greater detail in the maps identifies more sites prone to flooding.

Courtney Johnston, the Metro Councilwoman for District 26, said the changes will impact many in her district, which has dealt with flooding in the past. “District 26 was impacted heavily in the March Floods in 2021. And we still have homes that are not inhabitable.”

While more areas are now classified as being in flood plains, Johnston said that doesn’t mean the risk of flooding is higher than it has been in the past in these areas. “What I want people to understand is that their house is in no more of a risk than it ever was, it’s just that we know about it now. These creeks and streams have now been studied when they never had been before.”

Johnston said that while the development of these maps started in 2017, many residents have questions. “It is a big change and we have a lot of people who have questions about it. Is it going to affect their home value? How much does flood insurance cost? And all of those things.”

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She plans to have a meeting soon to discuss these changes with the residents of her district, “If you’re in a designated floodplain, you don’t have a choice unless you don’t have a mortgage. And then I strongly encourage it. That was one of the most heartbreaking things that I saw when I was touring my district every day after the flood was the people that didn’t have flood insurance and had just lost everything.”