FEMA: Problem Properties Could Raise Gulfport's Flood Insurance Rates - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

FEMA: Problem Properties Could Raise Gulfport's Flood Insurance Rates

FEMA's announcement at the last Gulfport City Council meeting, that 165 problem properties could jeopardize the city's federal flood insurance rating came as quite a surprise to Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr.  

"These issues were not being talked about three weeks ago, and they have kind of been rehashed," says Warr.

The Mayor says it's a problem he thought had been resolved months ago.  

"We had a discussion with the top people from national flood insurance and MEMA back in December. They were satisfied with the sum of the conversation, and now for some reason, new individuals have come in and asked for more information."

MEMA says those three properties include the new Gulfport Yacht Club, the bait shop at the harbor, and Trinity Marine near Gulfport Lake.

MEMA Flood Plains Specialist Charles Stallings agrees the city has already taken action to resolve problems at those sites, but he says they want to take a closer look at 162 residential structures.  

"We actually need to get building permits, elevation certificates on some of the properties, determine the date some of them were constructed, and find out if there is an issue," says Stallings. "Some of them may have no issue at all."

Stallings says they are committed to working with the city to resolve the problems, which mostly involve paperwork. And Warr says he's committed to not letting these unresolved problems cost taxpayers even more money.  

"If we're not in compliance, we could lose some of the discount that we get right now," says Warr. "The city is not going to let that happen. We're in total communication with them. We agree with each other. It's kind of blown out of proportion."

by Don Culpepper

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