The Gross National Debt

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Consternation, then clarity

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Here's a situation to which I have no solutions.

A Louisiana man built a house in a flood zone (FZ).

Yanno what. Forget that first sentence. I have a solution now as I write this. This guy who built a home in a defined FZ is a moron. What he get, he deserves. Case closed.

But to the original point of this blog, said gent built a house in a FZ. As is the case pretty much everywhere in the US, he had to get building permits (which I object to) and had to build to government standards (I object yer honor.) Government said his house had to be built This High above the ground.

Thinking he was safe, he added two feet to the government requirement. Now, the government is changing its mind. No surprise there.

"... the new maps now tell him that 15 years ago he was wrong and he should have built six feet higher than what he actually built," states the reporter who talked to NPR.

Said gent was paying $633 a year in flood insurance. Now his flood insurance is headed to $28,000 a year. He can pay this, or raise his house another six feet.

My original thoughts for this blog was, this guy is in a world of hurt through no fault of his own and now what can he do? He did, at the time, more than was required. It's not his fault is the regs change. If he goes after the government, he's really going after you, me and himself.

Then, I got back to reality. See paragraph 3. But, I will run through my original thoughts.

There are a number of problems here, only one of which is being worked out properly. Having enumerated several problems already, I list the others.

• Flood insurance is mandatory for people who live in FZ if they have a mortgage, or so I'm told.

• People are allowed to build in FZ  if they follow government regulations, which can change at the whim of a legislative body. The north side of the Savannah river, in S. Carolina, was below the build-able FZ limit until the S. Carolina general assembly voted to declare it was above that limit. Really. I wrote a story on it some years ago.

• The National Flood Insurance Program (run by the federal government) is where a number of people get flood insurance.

• This insurance is subsidized by taxpayers. Why? Why should I pay for you to live in a place where your house is likely to be turned into a surfboard?


There is a house, in the city where I live, which has flooded several times. It's also been sold several times, typically right after it floods.

And lest you think that only rich people live in flood zones, I tell you in the wake of No Name Storm and some others in the spring of 1994, parts of Albany GA were flooded. I don't have firm figures on this, but a significant number of people who lost everything were poor folks, living in what they could afford to live in, or so they thought.

I say they thought that was where they had to live. When they lost their homes, they found out otherwise.
Yassee, you can't fix stupid, but you can kill it before it breeds. You just have to get to it in time or hope Mother Nature steps in a takes out the whole lot.

Anyway, the only fix in this situation is noted in the above flood insurance premium rising to $28K a year. Insurance companies are showing, thanks to several floods, hurricanes and excessively stupid people, that these giant premiums are the true cost to cover homes in flood zones.

I like it. S'called free market economy. Those who play, pay. Leave you and me out of it.

I fully support the right of the abovementioned guy to build a home in the flood zone. I also fully support the right of insurance companies to charge enough to provide him coverage. As long as I'm not involved and it doesn't affect me, party on.

1 comment:

  1. Now I personally have always believed that one should be able to live where ever they wish in whatever structure they wish. If someone wants to live in a Yurt beside the warm glow of a nuclear waste disposal sight, more power to them. However, I get sick and tired of people who knowingly built their homes in areas that are prone to flooding who gripe and complain about their insurance rates or who beg for government assistance every time there is a "natural disaster." I firmly believe everyone should have to sleep in the bed they made no matter how soggy it is.

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