Residents in Gates upset with flood insurance hikes

Posted at: 04/07/2014 11:39 PM
By: Lynette Adams

People in one local town came out in force Monday night to fight what they say the federal government is doing to them. Residents at a Gates Town Board Meeting say they're angry about flood insurance they're being forced to buy and how the cost continues to go up every year.

Some even feel like they have no other choice, but to sell their homes and leave.

This all came about because of recent increases to flood insurance. Parts of Gates are designated "flood zones." Some homeowners say their flood insurance is so expensive they're getting to point where they want to move, but to sell could mean taking a loss.

Homeowner Jody Carley says, "I was telling my husband, we need to move."

When Carley and her husband bought her home twelve years ago, there was no mention of a flood zone. But in 2008, they received a letter saying their house is in a flood zone and they have to get flood insurance, which you can only get through FEMA. The insurance was $800 and six years later, they paid almost double that.

The Carley's aren't alone, the 2008 designation has affected dozens of homes in the town. Scores of people packed into a town board meeting on Monday to complain about the cost. One homeowner said at the meeting her insurance has gone up 18% per year.

People want answers, so does the town supervisor Mark Assini.

He says, "I think they are broke from all the disasters, the question is should the homeowners in the town of Gates should be unfairly impacted by this and the answer is no."

Assini says middle class communities can least afford to fight the federal government, but he says he won't let this happen to Gates without a fight.

"We are going to look at the possibility of suing the federal government," says Assini. "They've acknowledged publicly they've made mistakes in the maps and we can show definitively the mistakes they've made, so we are going to go after them about that."

Assini says the town will also look to see if it can opt out of the FEMA flood insurance program all together.