Tuesday Twofer: Ask not what Good Government Citizen groups can do for you……..

Ask what you can do for Good Government Citizen Groups.

FEMA is out of touch ~ Tommy Elkins

StopFemaNow is a group of concerned citizens, who have not only been effected by Super Storm Sandy, but who have been impacted on varying levels by the implications of the new FEMA flood maps. The decision to adopt these maps is premature and requires additional consideration. We want to, quite simply, Stop Fema Now!

Our goal is to create community awareness as the adoption of these maps will heavily impact many communities across this country. These maps will tear many from their homes, force many to make harsh decisions about their futures with no real place to turn and ultimately change our lives. The financial implications alone are frightening!

We are faced with many unanswered questions and very little direction. StopFemaNow intends to provide a fact based argument as to how and why we can rebuild stronger and more resilient with a more “realistic” approach. Together we will prevail!

Biggert-Waters NFIP Disaster Update: Our politicians thus far unable to reverse the damage from their earlier votes….

So far the two state senatorial delegation of Mary Landrieu, David Vitter, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker are striking out on delaying the massive NFIP rate increases coming down the pike. Per this Bruce Alpert piece, Senator Landrieu is now seeking a one year delay in the massive rate hikes coming for those that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. A few days later, Alpert covered a letter the area’s congressional delegation sent to FEMA asking for administrative relief.

The troubled Flood Insurance program is billions of dollars in debt and the Biggert-Waters Act, designed as it was by the Insurance Industry for the sole benefit of the insurance industry guarantees that the billions of dollars in wind claims private insurers such as State Farm dumped on the NFIP after Hurricane Katrina will be repaid by the NFIP ratepayers instead of the large companies that socialized their contractual obligations under their insurance policies that dumped them on the US Treasury. Unfortunately the people of this area were sold out to the insurance industry by our own politicians, who now claim ignorance of the impacts of the bill upon which they voted Aye.

In related news Alpert checked in yesterday with a report on the FEMA pilot program on adjusting flood maps to give credit for locally built, non-accredited levees.  This seems a risky proposition to me due to the fact ongoing maintenance of these systems has been historically neglected plus filling in marshlands for development is bad for the environment. What this area needs is smarter development that does not impact or alter the floodplain, not more levees.

Wiped off the map by “double trouble”?

Sunday’s Sun Herald completes the picture of the double-trouble flood maps with two weekend stories that illustrate the challenges facing post-Katrina coastal Mississippi and Louisiana.

Admittedly, it’s also a challenge for those of us who live inland to understand how much control the federal government has over coastal property owners and their communities – much less the eventual impact this control has on a coastal state.

Consequently, it’s important to understand the stated purpose of the flood zone maps is to set flood insurance rates, regulate development in flood plains, and let people know about the risk they face.  It’s also helpful to be fluent in  FEMA-speak, which I’m not, or at least be familiar with two key terms A Zone (flood hazard zone) and V Zone (high flood potential velocity zones) and forgiving of my overly simple translation.

In Louisiana, FEMA’s new maps have triggered complaints from several parishes that the elevation data put too many towns in flood zones – guaranteeing they’ll never rebuild and recover from the hurricanes of 2005 and 2008.

If you recall Sop’s post, Political tap dancing Ground Zero style  the tap dancing took place in Bay St. Louis when much of that community was about to be mapped off the map, so to speak.  Let’s start with the update from Bay St. Louis. Continue reading “Wiped off the map by “double trouble”?”