Beach homeowner disagrees with FEMA's new flood zone designations

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by Lucy Bustamante, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 25 at 6:01 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Richard Balling has lived on S. Gladstone Street in Virginia Beach for more than 30 years and says although he is in a Special Flood Hazard Area he knows his home will never flood.

FEMA describes the SFHA as the area where the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP's) floodplain management regulations must be enforced and the area where the mandatory purchase of flood insurance applies.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently re-drew which areas are designated as flood zones.

Balling doesn't buy it and says he thinks FEMA, "needs the money."

Nationwide flood insurance agent Terry Croft says Balling and his neighbors should take another look at the flood maps that come out next year before they make that decision.

"On the same street one house may be in a flood zone and the other one may not be. It just depends on the base flood elevation of your house," says Croft.

Croft points out that one house on Balling's street that is sitting on an elevated foundation with vents installed and the one across the street isn't.

"The Big Water Act of 2012 will make the National Flood Insurance Program more financially stable by raising rates on certain classes of property to reflect true flood risk and trigger rate changes for certain property," Croft says.

Depending on the base flood elevation of a home in Balling's neighborhood, the insurance rate per year can be anywhere from $800 to $2800 a year.

Balling already paid off his mortgage, so because he is no longer dependent on a federally backed loan he will not have to abide by the new law. 

For more information call your insurance agent or go to FloodSmart.gov.

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