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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Another FEMA forum grows heated
(Page 3 of 4)
Homeowner Frank Conrad, right, asked Ice Arena worker Michael Raab a question at the May 1 forum.
A Department of Financial Services representative said that residents who are having problems with insurance companies or whose mortgage companies are withholding checks should call the department to register a complaint.

Substantial damage letters — the document sent to homeowners by the city, detailing the extent of the damage to their homes and whether they have to raise or demolish them — was another source of contention. FEMA conducted 2,755 post-storm home inspections in Long Beach, and determined that 860 homes were “substantially” — more than 50 percent — damaged and would have to be elevated or demolished, according to the city.

Building Commissioner Scott Kemins said that residents who are unhappy with their evaluations can easily appeal them. Kemins said he wants to help residents seeking either lower damage estimates, so they don’t have to raise their homes, or higher estimates, so they can get the funds they need to cover the elevation or demolition.

“If there is any problem, we will help,” said Kemins. “We will stay late. We will come in early. The days of 9 to 5 are over.”

But many people also asked him why it took so long for them to be made aware of the different regulations, especially related to raising homes. “We can’t make proper decisions unless we’re [informed],” said one resident.

One woman said that if she had known earlier that she would have to elevate her home, that would have entirely changed the way she made repairs. Rather than repairing her first floor, and now having to put a two-story house on stilts, she would have turned her first floor into a FEMA-compliant basement, and built up. Kemins advised people not to be rash and to explore all of their options.

“Don’t rush into these decisions,” he said. “With funding from New York state and [Increased Cost of Compliance], you may get enough to raise your home. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.”

Those who have raised their homes wanted a guarantee from FEMA that the agency wouldn’t raise the base flood elevation in a few years. FEMA Branch Director Michael Parker said he could not make that guarantee, but he added that FEMA does not redraw maps that frequently, and it is not in a position to do so in the near future.

Comments

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SamKinsleyRocks

That meeting was a complete waste of time. If they were smart, they're wait until they had more information so they could actually answer people's questions. Instead, they got pushed against a wall by a very angry crowd.

Shame on FEMA for their lack of preparedness. I'm not shocked. They are the biggest, most disorganized group of people I have met so far.

Thursday, May 9, 2013 | Report this
SamKinsleyRocks

*they'd not they're

Thursday, May 9, 2013 | Report this
Sandeep

“So if people don’t have flood insurance, are they going to be put ahead of us?” asked one resident.

I find that comment extremely selfish. First of all NYS rising prohibits folks with vacation homes etc from applying. It is mainly intended for primary residences and it considers income.

Widows and orphans and elderly folks are usually the ones with no mortgage. Large parts of Long Beach was put in a flood zone as recently as 2009. These folks were never asked to get flood insurance during the 30 years they had a mortgage, after mortgage was paid off and FEMA decided that flood insurance is required for folks with mortgages FEMA made no effort or attempt to get these folks to sign up. Why, cause FEMA insurance only charges 1/3 the actual cost. Every new costumer comes at a loss to FEMA, FEMA is mainly interested in FHA backed mortgage loans flood insurance. Yes uncle sam owes your mortgage and wants to make sure the underlying collateral is properly insured. FEMA even stated if all folks not only folks with FHA mortgages in high risk areas signed up for flood insurance it would bankrupt system. So in effect the Widows and orphans and elderly folks subsidize the folks with flood insurance.

Now a guy in this article who got paid 60k while widow next door got paid 31.9K is begrudging her one chance to get some money for her house.

Folks with flood insurance are not really Sandy Flood Victims. Usually they are victims of a bad adjuster, bad insurance company, contractors who overcharged or FEMA policies. Nothing to do with Sandy. My next door neighbor spent 110K on house and only got 70K and was complaining about his insurance. Meanwhile I saw Servepro in there doing a rip out for 15K, expensive Mold Remediation work done, top of the line cabinets being replaces as they got a little wet etc. That is what ran most of bill up to 110K, I think he could have easily got it done for 70K. He is also applying to these fund to get his 40K owed.

Folks with flood insurance and financial means should be volunteering to let the widows and ophans with no flood insurance to front of the line for whatever scraps they get.

Friday, May 10, 2013 | Report this
feegss

Hey jack Schnirrrrrmann, you are doing a real good job-lol! It is time for Long Beach to elect a mayor instead of a non-LB guy with an Ivy league degree who could not manage his way out of a paper bag....

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 | Report this
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