SEDA-COG Helping Homeowners Try To Keep Flood Insurance Premiums Down

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MILTON -- A community in Northumberland County hit hard by the flood of 2011 is getting some news they don't want to hear.

Federal laws passed after the floods will cause their flood insurance premiums to increase some by as much as 18 percent.

This was Milton back in 2011 when the Susquehanna River flood the borough in Northumberland County, damaging homes and businesses, including the Arrowhead Restaurant which took on six feet of water.

And that wasn't the only flooding here.

“2010, 2011 we closed our doors four times, we actually had water in the building twice so it wasn't a good year,” said Annie Hackenberg at the Arrowhead Restaurant.

But laws passed by the federal government aimed to shore up the National Flood Insurance Program are causing flood insurance rates to increase by 18 percent per year.

Some residents say they're being forced to pay more money in order to fix flood damage somewhere else.

“You don't load up everybody with flood insurance have them pay for somebody else's flood,” said one resident.

At the Milton borough building, the SEDA-Council of Governments is trying to keep those premiums down.

Terri Provost with SEDA-COG says many of the homes along the river are pre-firm, meaning they were built before the flood maps were drawn up.

Those homes never received an Elevation Certificate, something that could reduce their flood insurance.

“An Elevation Certificate will show you where your actually risk is in your house so if you're in the floodplain or not, some these homes are not in the flood plain but were mapped and appear to be,” said Provost.

Penny Gesualdi just bought a home on the river 13 months ago that home flooded in 2011.

“On the basement walls as you go down, the level of the water, when it crested, how much water was in the basement,” said Gesualdi.

She's not wasting any time getting a land surveyor out to her property.

“I already, I'm in the process of having that done, surveyed and elevation certificate.”

SEDA-COG will hold another informational meeting on Monday at the borough building at 6 pm.


1 Comment

  • El Ma

    “Flood Insurance” means a maximum payment of approximately 30K. Meanwhile, some people who live in newly-defined and ever-changing flood-zones are looking at 10K per year, at one time (can’t make payments on flood insurance) are simply unable to buy this coverage. Without this coverage, homeowners’ policies are null and void if damages occur via “flood water.” This could mean runoff from recent logging which, if a claim is filed for water damages, will immediately define the property as being in a “flood zone.”

    It’s outrageous.

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