New FEMA maps add thousands to flood zones

The flood zones now cover more of Marshfield, where wave action in addition to standing water can damage property.
The flood zones now cover more of Marshfield, where wave action in addition to standing water can damage property.Credit: Barry Chin/Globe Staff

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Last year, when the owners of Haddad’s Ocean Café in Marshfield tore down their old building and rebuilt it to the tune of $3 million, they elevated the new restaurant to reduce their flood risk and insurance premiums. The advantage may have been short-lived.

Recently released federal flood maps have redrawn the lines, adding thousands of South Shore residential and commercial properties to high-risk flood zones. The change will force anyone in an area with a 1 percent annual chance of flooding — also called a 100-year flood zone or Special Flood Hazard Area — to purchase flood insurance if they have a mortgage. Others who already buy flood insurance could see themselves moved from a moderate-risk zone to a high-risk zone and pay more for insurance.

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