Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wisconsin village opted out of flood insurance plan

Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee): Residents and landowners affected by the Lake Delton breach spent Wednesday seeking an explanation for why the community opted out of a free national flood insurance program that 90% of the state's flood-prone communities have joined. Anguish over the lack of insurance surfaced as members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency prepared to survey the damage in Sauk County and several other Wisconsin counties today.

The Village of Lake Delton began the paperwork just two weeks ago to rejoin the flood insurance program after a dispute with FEMA's floodplain elevation maps from 2001 caused it to back out. But because of that decision, residents such as Tim Fromm, Tom Pekar and Don Kubenik were not able to obtain flood insurance - which is backed by the federal government - for the homes they built on the shore of Lake Delton within the last few years….

..."You're probably going to start seeing a lot of lawsuits" over all this, said Fromm, who has nothing left of his house other than a basketball hoop on a cliff and a small mound of landscaped shrubs. The video of his house tumbling into the new tributary of the Wisconsin River has become an iconic shot of the Lake Delton breach. Like neighbors Pekar and Kubenik, Fromm is in touch with lawyers to handle issues such as whether the damage to their homes was caused by a flood or erosion, and how they can get assistance from local, state or federal resources….

….Watson, who has seen scenarios similar to this play out in different communities, offered a more sobering perspective on what Lake Delton and its businesses and residents are going through. "We call it 'the disaster after the disaster,' " he said.

Photo of an eight ball by Samer Abdallah from Doha, Qatar, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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