Some New Jersey hurricane victims are complaining that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is doing more harm than Superstorm Sandy did when it hit over four months ago and washed away their homes and businesses.
“FEMA has caused more damage to the shore than Sandy did,” said George Kasimos, a flood victim from Toms River, N.J.
He is the founder of the growing grassroots group, Stop FEMA Now. The group feels FEMA is responsible for suffering and uncertainty for many Sandy victims who cannot start to rebuild.
FEMA issued Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps as a provision of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which was signed by President Barack Obama last July. That act expands flood zones, doubles flood insurance premiums, and requires those in certain flood zones to elevate their homes.
Stop FEMA Now is calling on Congress to revise the Biggert-Waters Act and curb FEMA’s power.
“We need answers,” Kasimos said.
He said residents need to know if raising their homes is a requirement and if the preliminary flood elevation maps will be changed.
Additionally, critics say, questions about appealing the flood designations and availability of flood mitigation grants need to be addressed quickly so Sandy victims can begin to rebuild.
FEMA will issue its revised maps in August.
However, residents do not feel they should have to wait another five months to start to rebuild and are questioning the preliminary issued flood maps.
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