A retired firefighter in Queens has been paying between $350 and $458 annually for federal flood insurance, though that number is about to skyrocket, reports the New York Times. Though he lives a block and a half from the water, his premiums have stayed low because of a federal policy protecting residents from sharply increased costs. Now, he is looking to pay as much as $15,000 annually. Many New York residents will face a similar fate, due to an overhaul of the federal flood insurance program last year.
Government officials, grass-root organizations, and residents, are doing what they can to stop the higher premiums from taking hold. In Brick Township, New Jersey, for example, local officials have paid a mapping expert to obtain certification in floodplain technology to challenge FEMA's new plan.
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurace Act, passed by Congress in 2012, pre-Hurricane Sandy, made its changes to the National Floor Insurance Program, due to the fact the program was $18 billion in debt.
At stake is almost 20,000 New York residents that might be affected by this change.
Lawmakers have proposed several amendments to reduce the impact of the bill, but whether or not they will have an impact is yet to be seen.
See the full story on the New York Times.