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Sun Nov 10, 2019, 10:40 AM

FEMA Delays Updating Flood Risk Rating System Until (Of Course!) After The 2020 Election

Major changes to the way the federal government rates flood risk are being pushed back a year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency delayed the release of its “Risk Rating 2.0” plan, which would rate homes’ flood risk more precisely than current models. It will now go into effect in October 2021.

“Some additional time is required to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the proposed rating structure so as to protect policyholders and minimize any unintentional negative effects of the transition,” the agency said in a statement. Politicians and advocates for policyholders were concerned that the changes could significantly increase premiums for some homeowners, particularly on the coast.

Currently, a home’s flood risk is determined by which flood zone it falls into. These zones, which are set by FEMA, include surrounding areas, homes and businesses. They shift slightly every few years as FEMA gets better measuring capabilities and the landscape is affected by development and sea level changes, which can affect the rate homeowners pay for flood insurance.

The new program would rate individual homes on their risk instead of lumping them in with their surroundings. This would give homeowners a more precise picture of how their homes could be affected by flooding, but it may also result in significant increases in some cases.



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Reply FEMA Delays Updating Flood Risk Rating System Until (Of Course!) After The 2020 Election (Original post)
hatrack Nov 10 OP
Mike 03 Nov 10 #1
hatrack Nov 10 #2

Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 10:58 AM

1. When will the federal government stop underwriting flood insurance for homes

that flood year after year, and incentivizing rebuilding in exactly the same spots?

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Response to Mike 03 (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 04:23 PM

2. To see how idiotic this can get, check out Dauphin Island in Alabama

Along coastal Alabama lies Dauphin Island, a narrow, shifting strip of sand inhabited by a laid-back vacation town that is becoming more endangered with every passing storm and every incremental rise in the warming waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Dauphin is one of perhaps 2,200 barrier islands that make up 10% to 12% of the globe’s coastline. They help absorb the blows of nature and suffer greatly for it, either eroding dramatically from catastrophic hurricane forces or gradually, almost imperceptibly, from constant wave action.

These sandy, offshore bodies are potent poster children for our planet’s warming, part of a natural, 100,000-year cycle that, according to most scientists, has greatly accelerated since the birth of the Industrial Age. That transformative age was and largely continues to be powered by the burning of carbon-based fuels, principally coal. Almost 60 percent of emissions from such fossil fuels remain in the atmosphere and is largely responsible for global warming. That coal is to blame lends irony to the view that fragile Dauphin Island is a canary in the coal mine of climate change.


In summers, Dauphin Island’s population of 1,300 residents grows by a factor of five or six, including day-trippers. Some families have lived there for generations. Jeff Collier’s is one. He recounts it was a great place to grow up, kind of like country living, without the rowdy crowds and jammed-together high-rise traffic, condos, casinos and hotels that eventually came to characterize the Gulf coastline from Biloxi to Gulf Shores to Destin. The developers, who destroyed the dunes and tree stands, were restrained from building higher than 85 feet on the island. Collier, who’s been either a town councilman or, as now, mayor since the town’s incorporation in 1988, said folks have been fiercely guarding against encroachment of spring-fling-style vacationing.

But, he said, it’s become more apparent that you can’t necessarily stand pat against the forces of nature. A lifetime of large and small storms that require pushing sand off the roads time and again, of seeing water and sewer systems overcome, grand properties go underwater, and the island’s western end moving back and forth like a dog’s tail – all that was difficult but seemed manageable. Manageable, that is, with the expectation that FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers would make it right if a hurricane’s storm surge scoured the beaches. The feds paid 80 percent of the cost of restoration – up to $200 million over the years by some estimates. Depending on the severity of a hurricane, Collier said, recovery costs range from $3 million to $8 million. Manageable, that is, until Collier and others realized that what once took a tropical storm or hurricane to cause major devastation might now only take an unremarkable event, perhaps coupled with a high tide, like Category 1 Hurricane Barry earlier this year.



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