flood insurance

maxstrz / Flickr Creative Commons

For hundreds of thousands of people who live in South Florida, flood insurance is a fact of life – whether they have ever been flooded or not. It's probably required if you live in a flood zone and have a mortgage.

Joe Raedle / GETTY IMAGES

Tens of thousands of homeowners may now have to start paying hundreds of dollars or more each year in flood insurance, thanks to an update in maps that reveal which homes face a flood risk.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is updating its flood maps for all of Broward, and the number of properties in the county being redrawn into flood zones is significant. “We’re talking 60,000 to 70,000 properties,” says Carlos Adorisio, engineering unit supervisor at Broward’s Environmental Engineering and Permitting Division, and the county’s flood plain manager.

FEMA.gov

South Florida is getting new flood risk maps that are redrawing the lines for what property is in high-risk areas.

The maps, set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are used for city and county planning, determining which areas need flood insurance, and generally managing areas susceptible to flooding.

FEMA officials say the new maps are needed. Some of the data used to draw the ones currently in use across South Florida are 40 years old.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Congress has passed two spending bills to fund the federal government. President Donald Trump is expected to sign them, avoiding a shutdown.

One provision in those bills is a reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. With the president's approval, the program will be extended through Sept. 30, 2020.

Miami Herald archives

Floridians have another year of reprieve before they face a likely hike in their flood insurance premiums, thanks to political pressure from Congress over a potentially drastic revamp to the National Flood Insurance Program.

The planned change to the way the NFIP charges policyholders is meant to claw the program out of its multibillion-dollar debts and help the nation adapt to the growing risk of climate change — in exchange for an end to the subsidies coastal residents have relied on for decades.

AL DIAZ / MIAMI HERALD

An expert on the impact of climate change on financial markets has advice for anyone thinking of buying a home in Florida: don’t.

Spencer Glendon of the Woods Hole Research Center said Friday on the Florida Roundup that financial institutions are going to wreck Florida’s economy if they don’t confront the risk to coastal real estate and slow their lending. He warned that home buyers in the state should no longer be receiving 30-year mortgages.

Rep. Ted Deutch
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The National Flood Insurance Program is in trouble. After paying claims to cover damages from storms like Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and Hurricane Matthew in 2015, it is more than $25 billion in debt.

Kate Stein / WLRN

South Florida could see two feet or more of sea-level rise over the next 40 years. It’s alarming. 

 

And there’s growing concern that the risk of rising seas could sink South Florida’s economy before the water even gets here.

Florida residents hoping to protect their homes from storms are running out of time to buy flood insurance before hurricane season.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Southeast Florida has a new plan to help communities deal with sea level rise.

screenshots of C-SPAN videos

This week in Congress, the most significant rewriting of the U.S. tax code could take a big step toward becoming law. The U.S. House of Representatives may vote on a big package of tax changes as soon as Thursday. The decision would come less than two weeks after the initial legislation was introduced by House Republican leaders and only a week after the House Ways and Means Committee debated the bill, eventually passing it through on a party-line vote.

 

ATTOM Data Solutions

Houses in areas prone to natural disasters across the country are increasing in value.

While that might not make sense, that was the finding of a yearly nationwide study by ATTOM Data Solutions, a company dedicated to crunching housing numbers.

After Hurricane Irma, there have been lots of conversations about how best to rebuild given the area's elevation and tendency to flood, even on sunny days.

Most Florida Flood Zone Property Not Insured

Sep 8, 2017

As Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida, an Associated Press analysis shows a steep drop in flood insurance across the state, including the areas most endangered by what could be a devastating storm surge.

In just five years, the state's total number of federal flood insurance policies has fallen by 15 percent, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency data.

Florida's property owners still buy far more federal flood insurance than any other state — 1.7 million policies, covering about $42 billion in assets — but most residents in hazard zones are badly exposed.

Now that the rain has stopped and floodwaters are slowly starting to recede, government officials are figuring out where tens of thousands of evacuees in Texas and Louisiana can stay.

The White House estimates about 100,000 houses were affected by the storm. Many were destroyed or are too damaged to live in. More than 30,000 people are staying in emergency shelters and will soon be in need of permanent accommodations.

Tom Hudson

Driving around Molly Curry’s condominium complex in Ft. Lauderdale, it’s obvious she is proud of her neighborhood. She lives in the Bay Colony Club Condominiums, in a condo she owns since 2000, when she moved in with her two school-aged daughters. They are adults now and no longer live with Molly, but she’s stuck around and hopes to start a new career from her home.

 

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