PHILADELPHIA, Penn. -- FEMA has issued a letter to West Pittston that establishes a new deadline of December 1, 2012, for the community to correct the floodplain management violations and program deficiencies. FEMA listened to the concerns from stakeholders about the deadline established for the NFIP probation action and has approved a two month extension for West Pittston Borough, PA.
The deficiencies cited in the probation letter include failure to manage floodplain development in accordance with the Borough’s floodplain program, and lack of adequate record keeping. Direct violations of the community’s flood damage prevention ordinance include lack of enforcement on substantially flood damaged structures.
Property owners will still be able to purchase and renew flood insurance coverage during the probationary period, but a $50 surcharge will be added to any policy sold or renewed in the community for the next year beginning on December 1, 2012. There are currently 358 flood insurance policies in the Borough.
If the Borough fails to make progress during the first six months of the NFIP probation, or by June 1, 2013, the Borough could be suspended from the program. The result of suspension is the loss of federally backed flood insurance in the community, meaning that residents will not be able to purchase or renew their flood insurance policies after the suspension occurs. Additionally, if a flood disaster occurs in a suspended community, most types of federal disaster assistance for structures within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), including federal assistance to individuals and households is not available. Furthermore, the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 prohibits federal agencies from making grants, loans, or guarantees for the acquisition or construction of structures located in a SFHA.
FEMA remains committed to work with the officials of West Pittston to help the Borough achieve a good standing in the NFIP.