Written by Joseph Kellard
Homeowners in 350 coastal counties nationwide expect to get slapped with significant flood insurance hikes as the Federal Emergency Management Agency proceeds to redraw the nation’s flood maps in anticipation of future storms.
FEMA has already unveiled updated drawings for states along the Gulf Coast and Northeast — placing tens of thousands of homes in flood zones in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Louisiana — and plans to complete assessment of the West Coast, Great Lakes and Florida by 2016, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
The article highlights Toms River, a New Jersey town that in December saw the early release of FEMA maps that the agency rushed to make public so that homeowners could rebuild after Hurricane Sandy based on new standards, in some cases suggesting that they elevate their homes to a certain height above sea level.
In response, homeowner George Kasimos established an advocacy group, Stop FEMA Now, and organized local rallies against the maps that would have put some 10,000 homes in the highest-risk flood zone and raised insurance rates as much as $20,0000. But in June FEMA pulled about 9,000 house out of the high-risk area. Said Kasimos of the original proposal:
“If that went through there would have been a riot.”
Patch reported last week that a number of Sandy-impacted homeowners, including from Long Beach, plan to rally at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola on Thursday at 7 p.m. to ask elected officials for support in challenging FEMA to change a certain provision in the National Flood Insurance Program that states property loss caused by earth movement, even if due to the direct result of flooding, is not covered.