FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2, 2010

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES FEMA WILL GRANT SYRACUSE AND SURROUNDING AREA EXTRA TIME TO PROVIDE INPUT INTO FLOOD MAPS - WILL HELP AVOID TREMENDOUS FEES AND RED TAPE


FEMA Plans on Adding More Than 2,000 Properties to Flood Plain Map, Residents Facing Annual Costs of Up to $800 Per Home Syracuse and Region Needed More Time To Review Flood Maps - Additional Time Has Now Been Granted Schumer Will Still Fight to Support Syracuse's Appeal to FEMA

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has agreed to give Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse more time to provide input into FEMA’s recent decision to require approximately 2,400 property owners to purchase flood insurance at an average cost of $800 per year.  By law, FEMA is required to give adequate and substantial notice to local municipalities and residents if they intend to add additional properties to the county flood map –the document that delineates which properties are in flood zones.  In this situation, however, local officials say that they were not giving enough notice.  At Schumer’s request FEMA has agreed to give residents and municipalities additional time to submit data – without paying a fee.  

 “FEMA did the right thing in extending the deadline to submit information,” said Schumer.  “It will give homeowners, business owners and local governments more time to prove that they shouldn’t be in the floodplain, and allow them to submit that information without a charge.  I’d like to thank FEMA for working with my office and local officials, and I look forward to continue working with them as I support Syracuse’s appeal.”

 “I want to thank Senator Schumer for being a leader on this, and FEMA for doing the right thing by granting our area additional time to challenge the new flood maps,” Congressman Maffei said. “In these tough economic times, families and businesses cannot afford to be burdened by unnecessary financial obligations like flood insurance they do not need or want.”

 

“Nearly every single municipality in Onondaga County has been affected by the proposed expansion of the FEMA flood Maps. Through partnering with Senator Schumer and Congressman Maffei citizens and municipalities will now have a greater opportunity to voice their concern and rebut the expansion of these maps.”

Last month Schumer asked FEMA to provide more time for homeowners and the county and city governments to provide data.  Now, Schumer is announcing that FEMA has agreed to his request.  Under FEMA’s new proposal, residents and local governments will have until September 15th to submit survey information and make comments that could potentially remove them from the flood plain.  FEMA also agreed to put together a community forum to educate local residents on what information is needed. 

From the time that FEMA issues preliminary flood maps, indicating which property owners will be required to buy flood insurance, a community has 90 days to appeal.  If an appeal is filed within the 90 day period, the county and city can provide information to FEMA, at no cost, that may remove homes from the maps.  After the 90 day window, however, the maps are finalized.  While homes can still be removed from finalized flood maps, it becomes much more difficult and expensive.  At Schumer’s request, this period will be extended until September 15th.

 FEMA is seeking to add approximately 2,400 properties to its local flood map, which would cost the average homeowner about $800. Today’s announcement will allow for local homeowners, business owners and government officials to remove some of these properties. Many of the properties FEMA chose to include in their updated flood map haven’t been flooded in decades.  

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