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(Time)   The hard math of flood insurance ignores the 2+2 of not building in a flood plain   (science.time.com) divider line 91
    More: Obvious, flood insurance, Craig Fugate, National Flood Insurance Program, property value, Judy Biggert, floods, coastal flooding, Miami Heat  
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4896 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Oct 2013 at 9:25 AM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-02 09:20:52 AM
I can understand if people want to purchase a modest home near their work and the only choice between driving through crazy traffic for over an hour and a 10 minute commute is to live in an area that could take storm/flood damage (Galveston Island for example).  What gets me are those who build a multi-million dollar second home literally 2 1/2 feet above tide pool, claim it as their primary residence, and only see the interior of said home for maybe two weeks out of the year.
 
2013-10-02 09:26:34 AM
Wait, there's maths?
 
2013-10-02 09:26:52 AM
Why don't you live in the desert like sensible people, farmers?
 
2013-10-02 09:29:16 AM
I remember house shopping.  I like a house.  The house payments were very low.  Then my agent told me the cost of flood insurance was almost exactly the cost of the house payment... Heh, no.
 
2013-10-02 09:31:59 AM
Everywhere is in a flood plain. My house is in the 500 year flood plain, but I still have flood insurance on it. It's a couple of dollars a day and well worth it.
 
2013-10-02 09:32:27 AM
Less Absorption + Faster Runoff = More Downstream Flooding
Many of the flood maps were either wrong or became wrong after upstream development covered the ground with pavement that is all but impervious to rainfall.
Just imagine the clusterfark of a lawsuit that could cause if blame could be fairly apportioned to everyone upstream with impervious cover!
 
2013-10-02 09:33:00 AM
You can't blame poor people for living where the rich leave them a bit of land to jerry-build on (or sell them jerry-built crap boxes). But I blame the US Government for subsidizing the crap box builders and sellers, and I blame the Army Corps of Engineers for farking up the flow of the Mississippi and God only knows what else.

Ever since Katrina I have been a strong believer in not building on flood plains, sandbars, salt marshes, tidal marshes, mangrove swamps, etc. Nature does this sort of thing better. She puts water control mechanisms into place. Without life, as an article I read recently points out, erosion would dig rivers deep into the sediment and all the soil would wash into the sea as giant deltas instead of dead zones at the mouth of rivers. Some land would dry out and scarcely change, while other areas would erode. Biology and geology work hand in hand in more or less the way that the soft version of James Lovelock's "Gaia" does.

Let Mother Nature get on with the job. She provides trillions of dollars of services such as water filtration and flood prevention. It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature as the hippies were wont to say.

A more Zen approach that does nothing but leaves nothing undone would be wiser, cheaper and safer.

All I am saying is give peats a chance.
 
2013-10-02 09:33:01 AM
Farking welfare queens. We need to end the NFIP now! Cut government waste and welfare for the wealthy.
 
2013-10-02 09:34:12 AM
Not all flood plains are created equal. Not even close. But, whatever, by all means pretend you have it all figured out.
 
2013-10-02 09:37:19 AM
Oh, and buy the way, this is the actual math.

Seems a little more complex than 2+2 but what would I know, I built in a (500 year) flood plain so I must be stupid.
 
2013-10-02 09:38:46 AM
Where would Subby suggest 300 million people live that isn't subject to some sort of natural disaster while still maintaining a similar quality of life/economic prosperity as found in those areas which are?
 
2013-10-02 09:40:38 AM

generallyso: Where would Subby suggest 300 million people live that isn't subject to some sort of natural disaster while still maintaining a similar quality of life/economic prosperity as found in those areas which are?


Oh shush. You act as if all civilization has been based around flood-prone water sources for the entirety of its existence or something.
 
2013-10-02 09:46:02 AM
As someone involved in a related industry, hoo boy have we got a LOT of phonecalls lately of people needed elevation work done / trying to see if they can get out of flood zones (on paper, etc.)  Some people have flat out asked if we can fake the paperwork and list the elevation being higher than it really is.
 
2013-10-02 09:47:25 AM

Yes please: Everywhere is in a flood plain. My house is in the 500 year flood plain, but I still have flood insurance on it. It's a couple of dollars a day and well worth it.


No. Not all property is in a flood plain. The only way my house will flood is if a water pipe bursts in the wall.
 
2013-10-02 09:50:40 AM

KidneyStone: Yes please: Everywhere is in a flood plain. My house is in the 500 year flood plain, but I still have flood insurance on it. It's a couple of dollars a day and well worth it.

No. Not all property is in a flood plain. The only way my house will flood is if a water pipe bursts in the wall.


I think he means technically everywhere has a designation, such as C or X (or maybe something else depending on your area) where you're in a low risk area.  But that's just mincing words, effectively, and obviously, some areas will never, ever flood.
 
2013-10-02 09:54:33 AM
Um, I believe that conservatives have thoroughly and resoundingly proven that global warming is a lie.

So to you flood plain residents, build away. Not a thing to worry about.
 
2013-10-02 09:58:27 AM

topcon: KidneyStone: Yes please: Everywhere is in a flood plain. My house is in the 500 year flood plain, but I still have flood insurance on it. It's a couple of dollars a day and well worth it.

No. Not all property is in a flood plain. The only way my house will flood is if a water pipe bursts in the wall.

I think he means technically everywhere has a designation, such as C or X (or maybe something else depending on your area) where you're in a low risk area.  But that's just mincing words, effectively, and obviously, some areas will never, ever flood.


Kevin Costner will be able to find those areas that never flood when needed.
 
2013-10-02 10:01:03 AM
Is this the article that mentions several people have seen the cost of flood insurance rise significantly as a result of the government stopping flood insurance subsidies?  Like, $20,000-$30,000 per year to insure an ordinary (not mansion or beachfront) home in New Jersey?

/DRTFA
 
2013-10-02 10:02:00 AM

topcon: As someone involved in a related industry, hoo boy have we got a LOT of phonecalls lately of people needed elevation work done / trying to see if they can get out of flood zones (on paper, etc.)  Some people have flat out asked if we can fake the paperwork and list the elevation being higher than it really is.


So how exactly does that work?  Hey, can you guys raise my plot of land by a hundred feet or so by Thursday?  Oh and I need you to be able to make it so I can get into my garage which is 30ft from the road.
 
2013-10-02 10:02:36 AM
So where can one move in the U.S. that isn't prone to hurricanes, tsunami, earthquakes, blizzards, floods, droughts, or wild fires?
 
2013-10-02 10:02:46 AM
Who else is going to buy flood insurance?
 
2013-10-02 10:03:29 AM

Saul T. Balzac: So where can one move in the U.S. that isn't prone to hurricanes, tsunami, earthquakes, blizzards, floods, droughts, or wild fires?


Or tornados?

/I forgot tornados, dammit
//damn tornados
 
2013-10-02 10:06:18 AM

Hrist: topcon: As someone involved in a related industry, hoo boy have we got a LOT of phonecalls lately of people needed elevation work done / trying to see if they can get out of flood zones (on paper, etc.)  Some people have flat out asked if we can fake the paperwork and list the elevation being higher than it really is.

So how exactly does that work?  Hey, can you guys raise my plot of land by a hundred feet or so by Thursday?  Oh and I need you to be able to make it so I can get into my garage which is 30ft from the road.


I don't think you understand what I'm saying.  They want false numbers on an elevation certificate.
 
2013-10-02 10:08:35 AM

Saul T. Balzac: Saul T. Balzac: So where can one move in the U.S. that isn't prone to hurricanes, tsunami, earthquakes, blizzards, floods, droughts, or wild fires?

Or tornados?

/I forgot tornados, dammit
//damn tornados


And forest fires, avalanches, high winds, and rockslides.
 
2013-10-02 10:09:22 AM
Odd that someone named "Max. Waters" is involved in the flood insurance debate.

/I smell bias.
 
2013-10-02 10:09:56 AM
oops - I mentioned fires again.

//I like fires.
 
2013-10-02 10:12:31 AM

Rev.K: Um, I believe that conservatives have thoroughly and resoundingly proven that global warming is a lie.

So to you flood plain residents, build away. Not a thing to worry about.


Rev, this has nothing to do with global warming and everything to do with people that have rebuilt time and again in an area prone to flooding and who rely on government subsidized insurance to cover their losses. Where I grew up in Upstate New York, there was a place along the Saranac River that flooded in the spring every five years or so due to ice jams. The local news would be all over the story and how local residents were wiped out. Then, a few years later those same residents would get wiped out again.
Then, a few years later those same residents would get wiped out again.
Then, a few years later those same residents would get wiped out again.
They rebuilt every time thanks to cheap flood insurance. I haven't been back there in a while but I'm willing to bet those houses (or their replacements yet again) are still there.
 
2013-10-02 10:22:48 AM
My first house was in a city with a large river flowing through it.  The house itself was a duplex.  Immediately (15 feet?) behind the house was a dyke that was about 20' high on my side and 30' high on the river side.  My roof was just visible over the top of it.

This river flooded every spring, and twice while I lived there it was so close to gong over the top that we had flood alarms, etc, and an escape route.

According to flood insurance I was in a "low risk, non flood plain".
 
2013-10-02 10:24:14 AM

Saul T. Balzac: So where can one move in the U.S. that isn't prone to hurricanes, tsunami, earthquakes, blizzards, floods, droughts, or wild fires?


All those either have damages on a small enough scale or occur rarely enough that they can be insured and still at least break even. This chronic flooding problem is huge in Florida. Two or three major hurricanes could cause great financial distress to the state since they subsidize a lot of flood insurance

Insurance companies will insure ANYTHING if they can make a profit on it. If there is property that is so risky that they won't even offer an insurance plan it must be really bad

I don't even know if you can modify your home to reduce the effects of flooding but these people need to do something and hopefully have a long enough timeline to where they can accomplish it without being ruined
 
2013-10-02 10:25:05 AM
Well, this pretty much applies to the entire beautiful city of Savannah, GA.  We are called "the low country" for a reason :/
 
2013-10-02 10:25:33 AM

Old_Chief_Scott: Rev.K: Um, I believe that conservatives have thoroughly and resoundingly proven that global warming is a lie.

So to you flood plain residents, build away. Not a thing to worry about.

Rev, this has nothing to do with global warming and everything to do with people that have rebuilt time and again in an area prone to flooding and who rely on government subsidized insurance to cover their losses. Where I grew up in Upstate New York, there was a place along the Saranac River that flooded in the spring every five years or so due to ice jams. The local news would be all over the story and how local residents were wiped out. Then, a few years later those same residents would get wiped out again.
Then, a few years later those same residents would get wiped out again.
Then, a few years later those same residents would get wiped out again.
They rebuilt every time thanks to cheap flood insurance. I haven't been back there in a while but I'm willing to bet those houses (or their replacements yet again) are still there.


"But the fourth one stayed up.  And that's what you're getting, lad.  The strongest castle home in all of New England!"
 
2013-10-02 10:26:05 AM

topcon: KidneyStone: Yes please: Everywhere is in a flood plain. My house is in the 500 year flood plain, but I still have flood insurance on it. It's a couple of dollars a day and well worth it.

No. Not all property is in a flood plain. The only way my house will flood is if a water pipe bursts in the wall.

I think he means technically everywhere has a designation, such as C or X (or maybe something else depending on your area) where you're in a low risk area.  But that's just mincing words, effectively, and obviously, some areas will never, ever flood.


It's not mincing words. Saying "I wouldn't live in a flood plain" makes as much sense as saying "I'm not at risk of getting cancer."
 
2013-10-02 10:27:19 AM

Yes please: topcon: KidneyStone: Yes please: Everywhere is in a flood plain. My house is in the 500 year flood plain, but I still have flood insurance on it. It's a couple of dollars a day and well worth it.

No. Not all property is in a flood plain. The only way my house will flood is if a water pipe bursts in the wall.

I think he means technically everywhere has a designation, such as C or X (or maybe something else depending on your area) where you're in a low risk area.  But that's just mincing words, effectively, and obviously, some areas will never, ever flood.

It's not mincing words. Saying "I wouldn't live in a flood plain" makes as much sense as saying "I'm not at risk of getting cancer."


You're aware the majority of land in this country has virtually no chance of being flooded, right?
 
2013-10-02 10:31:33 AM

KidneyStone: Yes please: Everywhere is in a flood plain. My house is in the 500 year flood plain, but I still have flood insurance on it. It's a couple of dollars a day and well worth it.

No. Not all property is in a flood plain. The only way my house will flood is if a water pipe bursts in the wall.


Yep;  and in my part of the country, the standard homeowner's policy would exclude that unless the pipe burst due to a "covered event".   So you still need flood insurance unless you want to pay for all the repair cost associated with flooding one or more rooms of your house.
 
2013-10-02 10:35:14 AM
Your subsidy is over... cry me a freaking river.
 
2013-10-02 10:36:21 AM

Old_Chief_Scott: Rev, this has nothing to do with global warming and everything to do with people that have rebuilt time and again in an area prone to flooding and who rely on government subsidized insurance to cover their losses. Where I grew up in Upstate New York, there was a place along the Saranac River that flooded in the spring every five years or so due to ice jams. The local news would be all over the story and how local residents were wiped out. Then, a few years later those same residents would get wiped out again.
Then, a few years later those same residents would get wiped out again.
Then, a few years later those same residents would get wiped out again.
They rebuilt every time thanks to cheap flood insurance. I haven't been back there in a while but I'm willing to bet those houses (or their replacements yet again) are still there.


I just wanted to take a shot at global warming deniers.
 
2013-10-02 10:37:00 AM

baronbloodbath: "But the fourth one stayed up.  And that's what you're getting, lad.  The strongest castle home in all of New England!"


Epic win.
 
2013-10-02 10:43:59 AM

Rev.K: Old_Chief_Scott: Rev, this has nothing to do with global warming and everything to do with people that have rebuilt time and again in an area prone to flooding and who rely on government subsidized insurance to cover their losses. Where I grew up in Upstate New York, there was a place along the Saranac River that flooded in the spring every five years or so due to ice jams. The local news would be all over the story and how local residents were wiped out. Then, a few years later those same residents would get wiped out again.
Then, a few years later those same residents would get wiped out again.
Then, a few years later those same residents would get wiped out again.
They rebuilt every time thanks to cheap flood insurance. I haven't been back there in a while but I'm willing to bet those houses (or their replacements yet again) are still there.

I just wanted to take a shot at global warming deniers.


Fair enough.
 
2013-10-02 11:06:38 AM
I'm getting a kick out of this thread.....as I'm currently revising floodmaps.
 
2013-10-02 11:13:17 AM

topcon: Hrist: topcon: As someone involved in a related industry, hoo boy have we got a LOT of phonecalls lately of people needed elevation work done / trying to see if they can get out of flood zones (on paper, etc.)  Some people have flat out asked if we can fake the paperwork and list the elevation being higher than it really is.

So how exactly does that work?  Hey, can you guys raise my plot of land by a hundred feet or so by Thursday?  Oh and I need you to be able to make it so I can get into my garage which is 30ft from the road.

I don't think you understand what I'm saying.  They want false numbers on an elevation certificate.


I think he was asking about the non-fraudulent customers...can you, in fact, add enough fill or something to elevate their 1/2 acre out of, say, a ten-year floodplain into a hundred-year floodplain?
 
2013-10-02 11:14:47 AM

topcon: Yes please: topcon: KidneyStone: Yes please: Everywhere is in a flood plain. My house is in the 500 year flood plain, but I still have flood insurance on it. It's a couple of dollars a day and well worth it.

No. Not all property is in a flood plain. The only way my house will flood is if a water pipe bursts in the wall.

I think he means technically everywhere has a designation, such as C or X (or maybe something else depending on your area) where you're in a low risk area.  But that's just mincing words, effectively, and obviously, some areas will never, ever flood.

It's not mincing words. Saying "I wouldn't live in a flood plain" makes as much sense as saying "I'm not at risk of getting cancer."

You're aware the majority of land in this country has virtually no chance of being flooded, right?


Ah... there's that word.  "Virtually."  As in "not a zero or a minus."

Which nicely emphasizes the complexity of the issue.
 
2013-10-02 11:16:52 AM

Saul T. Balzac: Saul T. Balzac: So where can one move in the U.S. that isn't prone to hurricanes, tsunami, earthquakes, blizzards, floods, droughts, or wild fires?

Or tornados?

/I forgot tornados, dammit
//damn tornados


Quit hitting the tornado button you chucklefark
 
2013-10-02 11:17:37 AM

topcon: But that's just mincing words, effectively, and obviously, some areas will never, ever flood.


Even Bonneville was once flooded. =)
 
2013-10-02 11:23:36 AM
I'm still pissed about my brother's house just east of Biloxi MS, during Katrina a storm surge came in and flooded his house right up to the roof.  He doesn't live in a flood plain so he couldn't purchase flood insurance so his insurance company declared it flood damage and gave him nothing.  House and all contents ruined and his insurance gave him nothing.  (they declared bankruptcy and disappreared right after Katrina)

/fark insurance companies
 
2013-10-02 11:28:00 AM

ajboucek: I'm getting a kick out of this thread.....as I'm currently revising floodmaps.


I, on the other hand, am currently revising mudflaps.
 
2013-10-02 11:37:54 AM

Elroydb: All those either have damages on a small enough scale or occur rarely enough that they can be insured and still at least break even. This chronic flooding problem is huge in Florida. Two or three major hurricanes could cause great financial distress to the state since they subsidize a lot of flood insurance


This is completely untrue.  There were 8 major hurricanes that hit Florida between 2004-2005.  More than $40billion in hurricane losses and the flood losses during that period were barely a blip on the national flood loss cost radar.  The fact is, in Florida, there is a sole source of significant flood losses is storm surge from hurricanes/tropical storms, yet experience has shown that the flood loss cost associated with those events is significantly less than areas with major rivers and non-porous soils, and of course building below sea level as was the case with New Orleans.  Florida has paid in more than 2/3 of all flood premiums and has had less than 15% of the loss benefits in the pasts 20+years.  This period includes Hurricane Andrew, Katrina and the buzzsaws that were the 2004-2005 storm seasons.  There is no chronic flooding problem in Florida.  The chronic flooding is elsewhere.  So if subsidies need to be removed, they should be removed elsewhere and premiums should be revised based on observed loss costs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRdX61pabO4
 
2013-10-02 11:39:54 AM

Okieboy: I'm still pissed about my brother's house just east of Biloxi MS, during Katrina a storm surge came in and flooded his house right up to the roof.  He doesn't live in a flood plain so he couldn't purchase flood insurance so his insurance company declared it flood damage and gave him nothing.  House and all contents ruined and his insurance gave him nothing.  (they declared bankruptcy and disappreared right after Katrina)

/fark insurance companies


Not sure I understand what the problem is - your brother didn't have flood insurance, the house flooded, he didn't get paid for flood damage - that's actually how it's supposed to work.

However, it is false that he couldn't purchase flood insurance - anyone can.  His insurance company may not participate in the program, but that doesn't mean he can't get it through another servicer.  There is always someone willing to take your money if you look for them.
 
2013-10-02 11:40:11 AM

PunGent: topcon: Hrist: topcon: As someone involved in a related industry, hoo boy have we got a LOT of phonecalls lately of people needed elevation work done / trying to see if they can get out of flood zones (on paper, etc.)  Some people have flat out asked if we can fake the paperwork and list the elevation being higher than it really is.

So how exactly does that work?  Hey, can you guys raise my plot of land by a hundred feet or so by Thursday?  Oh and I need you to be able to make it so I can get into my garage which is 30ft from the road.

I don't think you understand what I'm saying.  They want false numbers on an elevation certificate.

I think he was asking about the non-fraudulent customers...can you, in fact, add enough fill or something to elevate their 1/2 acre out of, say, a ten-year floodplain into a hundred-year floodplain?


Of course you can, people do it all the time, and why elevation surveys are done before new houses are built in flood zones.
 
2013-10-02 11:42:39 AM

Saul T. Balzac: Is this the article that mentions several people have seen the cost of flood insurance rise significantly as a result of the government stopping flood insurance subsidies?  Like, $20,000-$30,000 per year to insure an ordinary (not mansion or beachfront) home in New Jersey?

/DRTFA


Heard a story about this on NPR. A man in Florida with a house that he estimates would sell for $260k said his flood insurance will be $45,000/year.
 
2013-10-02 11:44:37 AM

Okieboy: I'm still pissed about my brother's house just east of Biloxi MS, during Katrina a storm surge came in and flooded his house right up to the roof.  He doesn't live in a flood plain so he couldn't purchase flood insurance so his insurance company declared it flood damage and gave him nothing.  House and all contents ruined and his insurance gave him nothing.  (they declared bankruptcy and disappreared right after Katrina)

/fark insurance companies


He could purchase flood insurance; it's called a preferrred flood policy.  He just didn't bother to purchase it.  This scenario is one of concurrent causation, and insurers have the right to deny the damage as whatever windstorm damage occurred concurrently with the flood damage.  Had he purchased that flood policy, he would have not been in that position.  That insurer probably declared bankruptcy because they were bankrupt; along with untold numbers of other regional insurers as a result of 2004-2005.
 
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