Political Tap Dancing Ground Zero Style

Frankly I’m surprised the Bay St Louis NFIP letter contraversy is just making the Sun Herald but then again I recall only one short report on the same topic from WLOX a few weeks ago. I’m going to be completely honest and say I’ve been ducking this issue for weeks because the implications for impacted residents are severe despite the double talk coming from Bay St Louis city officials. Unfortunately if you are an impacted homeowner looking for straight answers, you’ll find none in the JR Welsh report on the topic in today’s Sun Herald which focuses on political finger pointing instead. First we’ll begin with the reporting which conveys some facts and then I’ll give some analysis including what I tell my paying clients from the area:

Hundreds of homeowners here are scratching their heads after receiving letters informing them they must either elevate, tear down or move their houses more than three years after Hurricane Katrina.

The letters were mailed to property owners by the city’s Building Department at the behest of the federal National Flood Insurance Program. About 1,300 of the letters have gone out over the last two months or so, city officials said.

The ominous letter informs property owners a “Substantial Damage Determination” found their property, located in a special flood-hazard area, had suffered hurricane damage in 2005 that equals or exceeds 50 percent of the current market value. Their options: Tear down the house, raise it higher or move it. Continue reading “Political Tap Dancing Ground Zero Style”