Community by community and shoreline by shoreline, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to roll out its revised and updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps, which help to determine the insurance costs and building rules for houses by the shore. This month in FLorida, it's Palm Beach County's turn—and there's good news for some owners, bad news for others. The Sun Sentinel has a report ( "Thousands of homes out of proposed flood zones in Palm Beach County," by Donna Gherke-White).

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday evening posted the proposed maps for the county on the agency's new Flood Map Service Center," the paper reports. "The county also will create an online site where people can see whether their property falls in a flood zone."

County officials gave the new maps a mixed review, the paper reports: "Overall, the revised maps are a 'huge improvement,' said Doug Wise, Palm Beach County's building division director." Local authorities have been requiring drainage and elevation improvements for new construction and development—policies which the new maps reflect — but Wise questioned the logic for placing some parts of the county into newly drawn flood zones. The new maps aren't final, however, and they don't take effect until after the end of a 90-day public comment period, which could prompt FEMA to make revisions.

Meantime, Palm Beach County residents—like every other citizen in a state or county with newly proposed flood plains—can review and examine the maps at FEMA's web page, "Preliminary FEMA Map Products."