Flood insurance rates heading up - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Flood insurance rates heading up

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WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) -

The rate increase homeowners, who carry flood insurance will soon see, will impact the City of Waveland extremely hard, according to city leaders. Waveland was ground zero after Hurricane Katrina.

A bill passed by Congress allowed the National Flood Insurance program to increase flood insurance rates by as much as 25 percent.

The flood zone maps re-drafted by FEMA in 2009 put most of the City of Waveland in a flood zone.

Less than a mile of the city is now considered high and dry.

"So now 90 percent of the city is in a special flood hazard area," said Mike Smith Waveland's Flood Plain Manager.

The Biggert Waters Act passed by Congress basically takes away the Government Subsidy or discount the flood insurance program gave policy holders.

Smith said, "It's a grave concern for us. One of my biggest concerns is that we will loose the majority of our residents because they just won't be able to afford the insurance."

Waveland resident Bill Power has already received notice his flood insurance rate is on the way up. He's not sure exactly how much, but says any amount is too much.

"It would probably break me. I've been trying to sell the house, but real estate is dead in Waveland. Right now if I could sell it I would move north of the Kiln some where and get out of this area," explained Power.

The city's flood plain manager Mike Smith said personally he will have to decrease the amount of his coverage and increase his deductible to make ends meet.

"Look at my example going from a potential 348,000 a year to 32,000 a year, that's a big difference," he said.

He said second homeowners and repetitive loss properties can expect to see that type of rate increases.

"This is going to affect everybody who lives on the Gulf Coast for sure," he added.

The National Flood Insurance Program has a website that will tell you how much your new flood rates will be by simply typing in your home address . www.floodsmart.gov

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