Letters to the Editor

Flood insurance rates could soar

If you are a homeowner on the Mississippi Gulf Coast whose home was remapped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency into a new Special Hazard Flood Zone after having been not in any FEMA Flood Zone, then you need to know the protection that earns you lower premium rates for your National Flood Insurance Program is in grave danger.

In June, Rep Sean Duffy, R-Wisconsin, introduced to the House Financial Services Committee, HR 2874 or the 21st Century Flood Reform Act. This is the year for NFIP reauthorization, so new legislation will happen.

I am puzzled why Rep. Steven Palazzo has been silent and not made those in his district aware that under this proposed Act, premiums will skyrocket from the $500 range to $3,000, and perhaps $5,000 annually. Many will remember Palazzo voted for the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 that had equally adverse impacts on NFIP premiums for us along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. After extensive public outcry, Palazzo did engage in recovery actions to roll back the adverse impacts in 2014. He should get no pass if he allows this one to slide through.

I have written to our congressman asking him to seek amendments to this act that exclude all retirees from the loss of current rate protections since many retirees are on fixed incomes.

Contact Palazzo immediately and express your concerns with this legislation and the adverse financial impact it will have on a great many along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Stephen Grimes