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Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Adoption of flood map was only choice
(Page 2 of 3)
Andrew Hackmack/Herald
Robert D. Barra is the Valley Stream village clerk.
After careful review, FEMA appears to have done a much better job with the new flood maps. The science is more precise and the weather patterns, tides and wind effects are better understood.

Remember, after Hurricane Sandy, FEMA was sent to Valley Stream in helicopters to inspect potential problem areas where it felt that flooding was a risk.

We have to understand that FEMA looks at risk, not necessarily result. For example, you buy a fast new Camaro. Yet despite that fact that you have no accidents or speeding tickets, the insurance company charges you high premiums. This is because of the risk involved in owning a speedy automobile.

Flood insurance appears to be no different. If there is flooding concern in the area, but you have lived in your house for 50 years with no incidents, it does not matter to FEMA. You are considered a risk, rightly or wrongly, by its science and computer models. This is not an exact science.

There is an element out there that continues to fight FEMA and paint the village with its broad brush. These individuals are heavy with bluster but light on facts. They base most of their diatribes on rumor, innuendo and hearsay. They have no scientific information that you may examine. They like to scream a lot, heartily believing that if you say something loudly and often enough, it will foster the “truth.”

One individual who likes to pass out fliers at train stations even went as far as to say that residents would get help from FEMA even if the village did not adopt the new flood maps. But, as they say, the devil is in the details. This information is both misleading and destructive.
If the village did not adopt the new maps, FEMA would still “help” if there was a crisis. However, an individual would have to file for a loan — key word: loan. You would be capped at about $31,000, and any money you received would first go to — you guessed it — the purchase of a high-premium flood insurance policy. There goes the money to fix your flood-ridden basement.


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Mr. Barra is either clueless or a fraud. His comments here:

"Through the diligence of Mayor Fare, the Board of Trustees and village personnel, Valley Stream was able to work with FEMA to reduce the number of village residents who pay exorbitant flood zone insurance rates from 2,404 to 855."

and here:

"We will continue the fight to help as many of those 855 residents and businesses that are still in the flood zone as we possibly can." can not be farther from the truth. I am a family member and friend of 4 families in Gibson. These family and friends have been involved in the fight against FEMA from the beginning, and if it was not for these so called "civic" assoc. members, Mr. Barra all but slanders here, every family would still be paying astronomical insurance premiums to FEMA. Not only does he slander these heroes of 1,549 families, but actually takes credit for this incredible victory by these "civic" members, and gives it to his cronies. Shame on you Mr. Barra.

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