PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- The Borough of West Pittston, PA, is scheduled to be placed on probationary status with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on October 1, 2012, unless the Borough is able to address identified corrective actions prior to that date. FEMA sent a letter to the Borough on June 5, 2012, that identified floodplain management violations and program deficiencies that must be corrected.
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 following the September 2011 floods.
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 each policy sold or renewed in the community beginning on October, 1, 2012. There are currently 358 flood insurance policies in the Borough.
If the Borough fails to make progress, 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.
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