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Chamber Asks Residents For Response On Flood Act

By Staff | May 24, 2017

The Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce is strongly encouraging residents to let their voices be heard in regards to the Biggert-Water Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW12). The chamber is seeking information to provide to FEMA.

BW12 imposes increases that the chamber believes are devastating riverfront communities, even with 2014 revisions that allow private insurance coverage.

“With rate increases in increments of 25 percent each year for businesses, and some residents already facing 100 percent increases since 2012, the need for review of the consequences caused by the BW12 is dire,” the Chamber notes in a letter it has released, requesting data.

“As it stands the trickle affect has already started with empty storefronts and residences accumulating along the Ohio River. Those empty structures mean less revenue for area businesses, fewer jobs, more opportunities for drug related incursion, and as time progresses more dilapidated buildings.”

By working with residents, professionals, businesses, and local/state/federal entities, along both sides of the Ohio River, the Chamber’s goal is to provide substantial documentation that will merit FEMA review and consideration to revise the Biggert-Water Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. The Chamber is requesting support from local government officials, Chamber of Commerce, State, and Federal legislators.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners update of 12/28/16: “The current National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization expires on September 30, 2017 and Congress will be considering potential changes and improvements to the program as part of the reauthorization process.”

This timeline may be changed, but the need to collect and deliver the data remains.

The Chamber is requesting any person owning a home or business or operating a business along the Ohio River or surrounding areas that are affected by the Revised Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and/or wants to be a part of this data collection complete a data form and submit to the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce, P O Box 271, New Martinsville WV 26155 as soon as possible. The form can be downloaded at: www.wetzelcountychamber.com, or call 304-455-3825 to have form faxed, emailed or mailed. To see if a property is within the flood plain area, go to: mapwv.gov/flood/map.