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Flood Insurance

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NEWS
December 13, 2012 | By Katie Zezima, Associated Press
BRIGANTINE, N.J. - The small yellow cottage has always been more than a house to Bob Bratek and his family. It was their slice of oceanfront heaven, a repository of family memories built in the '60s by three generations of Brateks. It was made of "hearts and souls and emotions and memories," Bratek said, recalling how he would ride there as a teenager in the family station wagon, its freight of free siding and donated wood causing the back to practically scrape the road. Sandy battered the Brateks' home and others passed down in families that scrimped to buy Jersey Shore getaways.
REAL_ESTATE
February 26, 2006 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
A bill, crafted in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, to revise the federal flood-insurance program will be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives this spring. The legislation is designed primarily to restore the flood-insurance program to financial solvency by increasing the amount that can be borrowed to cover disaster damages to $22 billion, from $3.5 billion. The measure, introduced in November by Rep. Michael Oxley (R., Ohio) and Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.), had been the subject of committee hearings in the House and Senate.
NEWS
November 21, 1995 | By Wes Conard, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Borough homeowners will pay $50 extra this year for their federal flood insurance because the borough has not resolved a two-year dispute over a Darby Creek floodway-encroachment violation. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provides flood insurance for homeowners, has put the borough on a yearlong probation, the first step toward suspending flood insurance, according to Dave Thomas, who supervises FEMA's community mitigation programs. The probation was ordered after a meeting Nov. 8 between property owner Dave Messina and officials from the borough, FEMA and the state Department of Environmental Protection.
NEWS
July 14, 2011 | By James Macpherson, Associated Press
MINOT, N.D. - The U.S. government will help the flooded city of Minot "for the duration," the cabinet secretary responsible for federal disaster assistance said Wednesday, but she cautioned that North Dakota residents should better prepare for future disasters. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the federal government "does not have deep pockets, nor is it a panacea," after taking a helicopter tour over the city where 4,100 homes have been damaged by Souris River floodwaters and more than 11,000 people have had to temporarily leave.
NEWS
September 17, 2013 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
  LOWER MAKEFIELD Ever since some faulty storm drains were repaired eight years ago, Lesia and Joe Pryor's Lower Makefield home has been flood-free, and the Pryors are confident their flooding issues have receded permanently. But they have just encountered another potentially costly flood-related problem: When they put up their house for sale, they will have to warn prospective buyers about a hefty flood-insurance bill. That could knock down the sale price. Under a new federal law the Pryors no longer will be able to pass along the federally subsidized flood-insurance rate that they have enjoyed for decades.
NEWS
May 25, 1997 | By James M. O'Neill, INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
When Muriel Sandner and her husband purchased their home on Beach Avenue here in 1959, they had no flood insurance. When the federal government started a flood insurance program in 1968, the Sandners didn't bother to sign up. "My husband thought it was a waste," Sandner recalls. "Even in the storm of 1962, we got no water in our house. He always said that if we lost the house, it's the property that really has the value. " In the mid-'80s, she insured the contents of her home - but not the house itself.
REAL_ESTATE
November 20, 2011 | By Al Heavens, Inquirer Columnist
Steve Bosch of Elkins Park wanted to make sure that he wasn't just engaging in a gripe session when he contacted me. What he hoped to do was impart a warning to readers who might be in the market for flood insurance. Although it appears to be a no-brainer for, say, people who live in low-lying areas near the Schuylkill or the Delaware, Bosch cautioned that flood insurance was not something to be taken lightly. He has lived in his house since 1998 and survived 12 floods, he said, starting with Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and ending with Hurricane Irene.
NEWS
August 1, 1993 | By Dan Meyers, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER Inquirer staff writer Jeffrey Fleishman contributed to this article
Few places flood the way St. Charles County floods. These lowlands between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers often are submerged - 43 percent of the county and the homes of 3,500 people are underwater right now. Even when nature is less dramatic than it has been this summer - such as when it merely rains hard - many places are awash. And time and again, when the waters rise, the people of St. Charles County turn to the American taxpayer for help. Then many of them move right back into places such as the Princess Jodi Village trailer park along the Missouri or "river rat" shacks along the Mississippi.
NEWS
January 4, 2014 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
BRICK, N.J. - Peggy Molloy had no damage to her house from Hurricane Sandy, but the red-haired, 56-year-old mother of two teenagers is facing a surge that could still put her under water. An impending steep hike in National Flood Insurance Program rates would increase rates on her modest Point Pleasant rancher from $800 a year to between $10,000 and $14,000, she said, unless she spends about $80,000 to elevate the house. "It has made my house worthless," she said. "My entire neighborhood is faced with this, but nobody believes it. " Molloy appeared Thursday at a news conference at which U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.)
NEWS
June 22, 2011
Dear Harry: I bought my home in 1999. The bank would not approve a mortgage unless I had flood insurance. I purchased it for the $56,000 cost of the home. A few years later, the mortgage was sold by my bank, and there were no problems until 2009. At that time, the servicing company insisted that I up the coverage on all my insurance to $113,000. That was the value they said the house was worth. Yesterday, I got a letter saying that a further hike was needed. They insist that houses in my area are increasing in value despite the fact that they are in a flood zone and that real estate is generally declining in value elsewhere.
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NEWS
May 11, 2014 | By Vernon Clark, Inquirer Staff Writer
The hum of gas-powered generators and the smell of mildew filled the air Friday at the Manayunk Brewing Co. as a crew worked. Cases of the company's canned beer on wooden pallets lined a wall outside the 18,000-square-foot restaurant, brewery, and banquet room on Main Street in the city's Manayunk section. What was missing on this afternoon was the lunchtime crowd - and the lights. More than a week after torrential rain caused massive flooding in the community along the Schuylkill, the 18-year-old craft brewery remained without power after 51/2 feet of river water deluged the former textile mill and ruined its electrical system.
NEWS
May 5, 2014 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
WEST NORRITON TWP. The wood-paneled home at 10 Indian Lane fronting the Schuylkill in West Norriton Township is dwarfed by its neighbors. For more than three decades, owner Lila Frost has lived through nearly a dozen storms that caused the river to swell and lap into houses on her street. Over the years, one-by-one, she has seen construction crews arrive to elevate her neighbors' homes, creating concrete garages at the ground level and flood-proof living spaces. All the while, Frost has taken her chances and held her lower ground.
NEWS
May 4, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Laura McCrystal, and Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writers
Ryan Houck was at work at Tri-Tech Automotive on Jefferson Avenue in Downingtown when he saw the water approaching from down the street Wednesday. Within minutes, the flood was at his feet. "I felt like I was on the Titanic," said Houck, 27. "The water started coming in the doors. " Houck and Tri-Tech owner Lee Captis spent Friday the way many residents did who live and work in flood-prone areas around the region: cleaning mud from the walls and floor. With the water receding and the sun shining - finally - officials and residents were left with assessing the damage from the record-setting rains that swamped the region this week.
NEWS
April 8, 2014 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
The neighborhood grid of overgrown avenues still appears on Google Maps. But most of the houses were bought and demolished decades ago by the chemical giant Rohm & Haas, whose Bristol Township plant sat nearby. Only four houses remain on this secluded speck of land known as Maple Beach, along the Delaware River and the shadow of the Burlington-Bristol Bridge. All occupied, they are now imperiled, too. Dow Chemical, which bought Rohm & Haas in 2008, has stopped maintaining to federal standards an 80-year-old levee it owns on the river as it has scaled back operations.
NEWS
March 17, 2014 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
Drew Ferrara and Connie Kaminski expected flood-insurance premiums to rise in parts of Yardley, a Bucks County river town swamped by three major floods between September 2004 and June 2006. But not by 800 percent. When the insurance bill arrived in December for their two-story real estate office near the Delaware River, they saw premiums jump from about $3,000 a year to nearly $27,000. "The absurdity of it was shocking," Ferrara said. "Who can afford to pay this type of insurance?"
NEWS
January 4, 2014 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
BRICK, N.J. - Peggy Molloy had no damage to her house from Hurricane Sandy, but the red-haired, 56-year-old mother of two teenagers is facing a surge that could still put her under water. An impending steep hike in National Flood Insurance Program rates would increase rates on her modest Point Pleasant rancher from $800 a year to between $10,000 and $14,000, she said, unless she spends about $80,000 to elevate the house. "It has made my house worthless," she said. "My entire neighborhood is faced with this, but nobody believes it. " Molloy appeared Thursday at a news conference at which U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.)
NEWS
September 17, 2013 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
  LOWER MAKEFIELD Ever since some faulty storm drains were repaired eight years ago, Lesia and Joe Pryor's Lower Makefield home has been flood-free, and the Pryors are confident their flooding issues have receded permanently. But they have just encountered another potentially costly flood-related problem: When they put up their house for sale, they will have to warn prospective buyers about a hefty flood-insurance bill. That could knock down the sale price. Under a new federal law the Pryors no longer will be able to pass along the federally subsidized flood-insurance rate that they have enjoyed for decades.
NEWS
April 17, 2013 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
BRIGANTINE, N.J. - With their backs up against the Brigantine seawall, two Jersey Shore congressmen advocated Monday for a less-drastic series of hikes to flood-insurance premiums than Congress mandated before Sandy. Under the legislation, introduced by U.S. Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo and cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan, the rate of the hikes would slow from 25 percent a year for four years to 12.5 percent over eight years, to help address the slow pace of rebuilding nearly six months after the destructive hurricane.
NEWS
April 3, 2013 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
Underwater doesn't even begin to get at the heart of Maurice Corkery's predicament. "This was my summer home," the Delaware County plant manager said of his little rancher on Third Street in Ocean City, N.J., flooded with its foundation cracked - totalled, really - by Sandy. "I was trying to think of a time line," he said. "It's been so long. I'm so screwed up. I haven't seen any money. Where is the money? All they do is talk about it. " His engineer has to talk to the insurance company engineer.
NEWS
February 7, 2013 | By Matt Katz, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
UNION BEACH, N.J. - Gov. Christie slammed the National Flood Insurance Program in his first Sandy-related salvo against the Obama administration, saying Tuesday that the pace of its payouts to storm victims had "stunk. " During a news conference in this Sandy-ravaged community on the Raritan Bay, Christie said that 30 percent of flood insurance claims, which are paid by the federal government, had been resolved, compared with 85 percent of homeowners' insurance claims, which are paid directly by insurance companies.
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