49% residential lots vacant in East Biloxi, “squirrel farts”, Commissioner upset USAA breaking wind – and other Saturday news

I’m going to go ahead and call in my power outage to Entergy now because it takes them that long to get out here and fix it when it does go out, which is often, even if a squirrel farts.. but of course they don’t care to fix that problem… but I better not be late paying my bill…

This reader comment on the Clarion Ledger’s story, Snow, freezing rain in weekend forecast for the state, had me ROFLMAO – and definitely disproves the notion that “only boring people talk about the weather”.

While Entergy may not “care to fix” the problem of “squirrel fart” power outages, the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio wants to know why 44% of East Biloxi still vacant from Katrina:

Nearly half the land in East Biloxi is still vacant more than five years after Hurricane Katrina, according to a survey by the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio.

The survey, released Friday, comprised land east of Interstate 110, excluding downtown. It showed 49.5 percent of the residential lots and 44 percent of all property was vacant in 2010.

“The reason people have for not returning is still a mystery,” said Stephen Crim, a community planner with the Design Studio and leader of the survey. “There are all sorts of anecdotal reasons we can cite to explain why vacancy persists,” he said. Some property owners may be waiting for a casino or other developer to buy the land at a premium, he said. The national real estate crash and recession are other factors, as is the cost of wind insurance near the Coast…

The good folk at the Design Studio could find a big clue to the mystery in Insurance commissioner wants answers from USAA, Anita Lee’s follow-up story on USAA’s decision to drop wind coverage for “at least 1,150 Coast policyholders”.

Despite years of MID assuring the post-Katrina Legislature proposed policyholder protection legislation wasn’t needed, Lee reports “there is no legal requirement for companies to contact the department for this type of action”. Oops! Would it pass if advocates renamed their oft failed proposal a “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights”? With “at least 1150” USAA policyholders on the Coast now looking to the state’s windpool for coverage, a read of Senator David Baria’s (D- Bay St. Louis) report on the failed “House attempt to override Governor Barbour’s veto of $20 million in funding for the wind pool” is instructive:

Nearly every home owner south of I-10 has no option other than the wind pool for wind insurance…Despite the clear and unequivocal statements of the wind pool board, Commissioner Chaney now says that the $20 million will make no difference in wind pool rates. Apparently relying on Commissioner Chaney’s expertise, a sufficient number of House members voted to sustain the veto…

Meanwhile the Commissioner is on top of the problem after the fact. According to Lee’s story, Chaney got wind of the break in coverage when affected policyholders started contacting MID and wrote in his letter to USAA:

“Also, please note that it is very important for the department and the company to communicate regarding proposed market changes of this nature.

“I hereby request that, in the future, USAA notify the department prior to implementing any such measures that materially impact policyholder coverage.”

GFL without legislation! Before Katrina, the coastal counties were the State’s “economic engine”. Consequently, the area’s delegation has wielded considerable clout. However, with a reduced post-Katrina population, the engine has sputtered and pending reappointment will result in reduced representation and less clout.

SLABBED urges the Coast delegation to “rev the engine” while it still has the clout!

One thought on “49% residential lots vacant in East Biloxi, “squirrel farts”, Commissioner upset USAA breaking wind – and other Saturday news”

  1. OOOOOOoooooowwwweeeeeeee Everyone needs to do what I , Unc’ and parrot did. Contracted for the highest wind rated shingles, hurricane tie downs for tree house , fire-pole for fast evacuations and a nana’ peel powered kayak. We all then pooped on our previous Allstate Deluxe policy and FedExed it to Birmingham for the President to open. OOOOOOOOOOoooowwweeeeee

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