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Cloudy,49°
Friday, October 31, 2014
Adoption of flood map was only choice
(Page 2 of 3)
Andrew Hackmack/Herald
Robert D. Barra is the Valley Stream village clerk.
After careful review, FEMA appears to have done a much better job with the new flood maps. The science is more precise and the weather patterns, tides and wind effects are better understood.

Remember, after Hurricane Sandy, FEMA was sent to Valley Stream in helicopters to inspect potential problem areas where it felt that flooding was a risk.

We have to understand that FEMA looks at risk, not necessarily result. For example, you buy a fast new Camaro. Yet despite that fact that you have no accidents or speeding tickets, the insurance company charges you high premiums. This is because of the risk involved in owning a speedy automobile.

Flood insurance appears to be no different. If there is flooding concern in the area, but you have lived in your house for 50 years with no incidents, it does not matter to FEMA. You are considered a risk, rightly or wrongly, by its science and computer models. This is not an exact science.

There is an element out there that continues to fight FEMA and paint the village with its broad brush. These individuals are heavy with bluster but light on facts. They base most of their diatribes on rumor, innuendo and hearsay. They have no scientific information that you may examine. They like to scream a lot, heartily believing that if you say something loudly and often enough, it will foster the “truth.”

One individual who likes to pass out fliers at train stations even went as far as to say that residents would get help from FEMA even if the village did not adopt the new flood maps. But, as they say, the devil is in the details. This information is both misleading and destructive.
If the village did not adopt the new maps, FEMA would still “help” if there was a crisis. However, an individual would have to file for a loan — key word: loan. You would be capped at about $31,000, and any money you received would first go to — you guessed it — the purchase of a high-premium flood insurance policy. There goes the money to fix your flood-ridden basement.

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