2013-04-19 / Letters

Flood Advice From Long Beach

Dear Editor:

You are doing a great service to Rockaway.

When this hit the fan in Long Beach, there wasn’t a peep from the media other than reprinting of the NFIP press releases. As a result, nobody, and I mean nobody bought into the X Zone to enjoy grandfathering.

As you probably know, Long Beach and Nassau County suffered from NFIP remapping in 2009. The mappers raised the Base Flood Elevations about four feet, bringing all of Long Beach, which was formerly in an Zone X into Zone A, which, along with Zone V are considered Special Flood Hazard Zones. Twenty-thousand homeowners were immediately required to forever pay Flood Insurance “taxes.”

Your front page report suggesting “grandfathering” of Zone X properties to assure much reduced rates in the future was the manner in which business was carried on prior to the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. Here in Long Beach, savvy owners purchased a minimal Zone X policy which assured them Zone X insurance rates after their property became remapped into Zone A. This was called “grandfathering,” and it was FEMA’s way of rewarding those who held flood policies prior to their being required.

The Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which every local congressman and senator endorsed, recommended terminating the “grandfathering” benefit. Guidelines for October 2013 and January 2014 rates have been published this week and they also appear to curtail this benefit.

Since FEMA sees fit to change its policies relative to the National Flood Insurance Program almost daily, it is imperative that owners in tentatively mapped A Zones take the most prudent approach. Purchase a minimal policy NOW, while your property is still in Zone X. In the event that “grandfathering” is perpetuated, you will “lock in” X Zone rates, at least as long as you maintain insurance.

And don’t forget to write to Senator Schumer and your congressman. Let them know that their endorsement of the 2012 Flood Insurance Reform Act will be more devastating to your family than all the floods and hurricanes that hit your home since you were born.



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