June 14, 2015 |
Tiny Yardley Borough, perched along the Delaware River, has been one of the nation's most flood-prone communities - emblematic of the problems that have swamped the profoundly indebted National Flood Insurance Program. NFIP has paid out almost $25 million for flood losses since 1978 to property owners in the borough of just 2,400 people, most of that on structures that have flooded at least twice. After years of brutal losses, NFIP stands $23 billion in debt to the U.S. Treasury, and is looking to Yardley, and other floodplain towns across the country, to help it stay afloat.
April 21, 2015 |
It's spring: Time to head to the Jersey Shore, smell the Atlantic, and daydream about buying a beach place. Albert Slap and Bob Hubbell, long-ago Penn grads, have started a service in Florida they hope buyers and lenders will consult before signing off on 30 years of payments in these times of rising waters. In some Shore neighborhoods, it could be a real estate buzz-killer. Slap, a onetime public-interest lawyer whose Sierra Club lawsuit curbed Philadelphia's sewage dumping way back in 1979, and Hubbell, past spokesman for the accounting firm KPMG, own Coastal Risk Consulting L.L.C.
May 3, 2014 |
Tom Huganir removed the pontoon boat from his garage overnight Wednesday, worried that rising floodwaters would lift it into the ceiling. After dawn Thursday, Ed Rainsford kayaked to his home to find seven feet of the Schuylkill sloshing in his garage. And Thursday afternoon, with her home still surrounded by an impromptu moat, Lynn Watters hopped onto a homemade zip line and slid to her elevated porch. Such was life on West Indian Lane, a tiny street bordering the Schuylkill in West Norriton, Montgomery County - one of the most flood-prone communities in the region.
October 30, 2013 |
The historic cyclone that made landfall on this date last year was so powerful and devastating that it was designated a "superstorm," had its name retired, and entered the tropical storm hall of fame. But hurricane experts fear that something far worse than Sandy, blamed for $50 billion in damage, is brewing. In the next two decades, the nation could experience a $500 billion storm. The sea level is rising, and global warming might affect future storms. But even if the world's temperature stops rising before you finish this paragraph, hurricanes far more damaging than Sandy are all but a certainty, they say. Despite unprecedented forecasting, monitoring, and warning abilities, and a record period of hurricanes avoiding landfall, the disaster remains one of the nation's most robust growth industries, with almost unlimited potential.
September 17, 2013 |
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.
June 9, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Here is how area members of Congress voted on major issues last week: House 2014 Homeland Security budget. Voting 245-182, the House on Thursday approved a $45 billion fiscal 2014 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security and its 230,000 employees in seven agencies. The bill (HR 2217) increases spending for border protection, customs, and immigration enforcement while sharply cutting the Transportation Security Administration and Coast Guard budgets.
April 16, 2013 |
This month, the federal government announced it would not give grants to repair homes badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy unless the owners agreed to ensure they complied with new advisory flood maps. In New Jersey, the policy will not change much because the state government already has said it would not approve rebuilding the most damaged homes unless they comply with the maps. Following is a look at what the flood maps mean to homeowners in coastal areas. Question. What are the maps?
April 3, 2013 |
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.
January 21, 2013 |
At night, back in the apartment they have had to rent while they figure out what to do with their half-wrecked home in Manahawkin, Ed and Carol Krzanowski wonder whether this is the time to leave the Shore for good. The ranch house they moved into 35 years ago, where they had planned to spend the rest of their retirement, took in two feet of salt water from nearby Manahawkin Bay during Sandy. Like tens of thousands of homeowners up and down the Jersey Shore, the Krzanowskis are struggling to navigate a maze of insurance settlements, floodplain maps, and government disaster aid to figure out whether they can afford to rebuild.
January 7, 2013 |
President Obama returned to Washington Sunday and signed the legislation authorizing $9.7 billion for flood insurance to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy. Congress passed the measure Friday while Obama was vacationing with his family in Hawaii. The $9.7 billion for flood insurance is only a piece of the $60 billion sought by states hit hard by the October storm. Northeastern lawmakers, still angry that the full package was sent back to the legislative starting line earlier last week, are anticipating a much tougher fight over the remaining funds.