Adopting flood map a beginning, not an ending
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We believe that FEMA did a better job the second time around, but parts of the new map still miss the mark. Hurricane Sandy showed the areas of Valley Stream that are vulnerable to coastal flooding — exactly what flood insurance protects against. And it showed that there are some areas that have no business being in the high-risk flood zone.
Village officials promised at the July 15 meeting that adopting the new map would not mean an end to the fight, and that they would continue lobbying the federal representatives and agencies that can effect change. They must make good on this promise.
The argument made by some residents that the new map can never be changed is wrong. This map is a changed map, and future maps can be as well.
We continue to call for more constructive cooperation between the community activists focused on this issue and the village government. It has been frustrating to see these two factions sniping at each other, despite the fact that they are working toward the same goal.
Both groups have brought good ideas to the table, yet they seem to prefer to work independently to solve the problem. Residents share personal experiences about the financial burden of having to purchase unnecessary flood insurance. The village government has relationships with the federal officials who can bring about change. Both sides should realize that we’re all on the same side.
Instead of publicly trading barbs, how about a meeting of the minds? If community activists and village officials could sit down, talk and learn from one another, we believe everyone could end up on the same page. Moving forward as one united coalition is a lot more likely to get Valley Stream the attention it needs for the changes that still need to be made.