To the Editor:
Now that the dust has settled and many homeowners have found out if they are in or out of the high risk flood zone, I thought that it was time to express my thoughts on the proposed new flood maps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Sadly, the maps discussed at the meeting at Village Hall on Jan. 2 have many inconsistencies. There are a lot of questions and not too many answers. For example, how can a home with a 10-foot base flood elevation be removed from the high risk flood zone but a home with an 8-foot BFE, only a few blocks away, still remains in the “AE” high-risk flood zone?
The BFE prior to the 2009 maps was 8 feet, and most of Gibson was in the “X” zone, which did not affect our property values or require flood insurance premiums. When the question was asked at the meeting what the new BFE was, we were told that there is not a single BFE for Gibson; it varies from property to property. That leads to the question of how it was decided that one home is in the high-risk flood zone and another is not.
Another issue is that the abandoned stores on Gibson Boulevard are still in the high-risk flood zone, which means that the property will never be sold, since it would be too expensive to build on that property under FEMA regulations. Those stores will continue to deteriorate, and no buyer will be found.