Posts Tagged ‘FEMA’

Note: Please excuse technical difficulties below. I’m working on the gaps.)


Tropical Storm Fay dropped rain in our area for five days pretty much without pause. Rain counts were measured in feet. All around our county and adjoining counties, homes were flooded. The remark heard over and over was, “They had no flood insurance because they were not in a flood zone.”





















Our acre-plus plot of land includes a portion of a pond. Drainage flows into it from the street and the adjoining lake, then through a culvert on to another small lake. Thunderstorms sometimes take the water over the bank several feet, but it always recedes before rising the seventy feet more it would have to flow in order to flood our home. In thirty-two years and three hurricanes, flooding has not been a problem. Why do I mention this? Because we have flood insurance. We didn’t want it, didn’t think we needed it, but FEMA thought we did. How did they determine this? They flew over the county in a small plane pointed out areas near any type of water and said, “Let’s designate this an X zone.” Apparently there was no consideration for the fact that our area is built out, so no new constructions has gone on to change flood patterns. This is the case in many of the uninsured homes where owners are now sloshing around in their living rooms.


The result was that homeowners whom FEMA deemed in a flyover were at risk of flooding were required to purchase flood insurance – and at the highest rates. Why? Because no study had been done to determine base flood elevation, so FEMA policy is to assume the worst. Each of the little creatures they saw milling about below would be required to have a survey done. The purpose of the survey is usually to compare to base flood elevation. Aha, but base flood elevation had not been determined. Would they use surveys purchased by us to determine one? Who knows? There was no fighting FEMA. They say you are going to flood and you say “how high.” We all had to have flood insurance.


The good news is all on our street with property on the pond are high and dry. The bad news is we have collectively spent thousands on unnecessary insurance and surveys. Of course, a storm of the millennium could drop torrential rains on us in the future. Anything is possible, but we have taken steady downpours for five days and our little water way managed very well. Better than FEMA, I would say.

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