Officials ask FEMA to release flood mitigation options
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- State and local elected officials are calling on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to comply with federal law by releasing flood mitigation options.
Currently, elevation is the only home mitigation activity that results in substantial flood insurance premium reductions. Many homeowners cannot elevate their homes because of financial or technical obstacles.
"It is a cruel irony that federal policy awards billions of dollars in post-disaster assistance, but discourages actions that can reduce loss from future storms," Congressman Daniel Donovan said in a statement.
The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act required FEMA to provide other options for homeowners to reduce flood risk and insurance premiums by March 2015.
Flood mitigation options other than elevation exist, and FEMA recognizes them in other programs.
"Here is an example of an 'omission of man,' in this case a federal agency failing to issue guidance that could help homeowners who were victimized by Sandy get on with their lives and plan for the future," Staten Island Borough President James Oddo said in a statement. "I stand with my colleagues in calling on FEMA to issue the guidelines that are required by federal law."
Officials who signed the letter sent to FEMA were: Congressman Dan Donovan; State Sen. Diane J. Savino; State Sen. Andrew J. Lanza; Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis; Assemblyman Joseph C. Borelli; Assemblyman Michael Cusick; Assemblyman Matthew Titone; Staten Island Borough President James Oddo; Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams; Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo; Councilman Mark Treyger; Councilwoman Debi Rose, and Councilman Vincent Gentile.