I find myself in a situation that is easy to understand because of my 40 years experience in Civil engineering, Surveying and land planning for both the private and public.

So when the FEMA revised flood mapping came out, I didn’t expect a drastic change, but the reclassification of my property into another zone has changed my opinion.

My property is still 98 percent out of the “Theoritical100 year flood plain” (T100), but a corner of my house is now shown in the T100 zone.

Having measured and analyzed the difference, I believe it appears to be a matter of an inch. In other words, should an event that matches the calculated T100 occur, my carpets may get wet and my neighbor’s house across the street, which is close to three feet lower then mine, floats away.

Now, I know this doesn’t mean much to the argument, but I am going to throw it in anyway. My house was built in the 40s. I have labored on it so much that I have seen every nail and board in it and every piece of sand (so to speak) under it.

There is no indication of ever being flooded in the 70 years since it was built. Of course you can counter with: “it only has to happen once in a 100 years.” I’ll counter with: if it happens the damage to my house will be to replace my carpets for $,1000. While my neighbor, same place, same time, same event has to have a new house for $100,000.

Tell me why I’d have to pay the same rate as my neighbor for flood insurance.

Because I am now reclassified in the same zone as my neighbor was in. My house and the other existing homes haven’t moved in elevation.

Here is what has happened. The accuracy of the old flood plain map was 3-4” in elevation and approximitly 6” horizontal. The new mapping with LiDar technology and computers is 0.06’ (3/4”). The difference is about 3”. Now the ground slopes from a steep slope to shallow or very flat slope. The flat slope is predominately at the lowest elevation or potential flood plain in this circumstance.

Hypothetically, If the slope is 1 percent, then the horizontal distance of the flood plain line could move 48’. If the ground is like a waffle or very shallow up and down the flood plain line could move many hundreds, maybe thousands of feet horizontal.

That still leaves the risk associated with flood damage. T

he calculated flood plain is an exercise in math with assumptions. It’s a best guess, but we establish an elevation that delineates an area to the nearest inch. We draw lines in the sand that say this is black and that is white all precisely to the inch or less. The depth of the potential flooding of some ones property is not taken into account. The risk of flooding and the damage to occur from a flood is lumped together. Black/white, a flood is a flood.

I think what is happening is we are splitting hairs here. It’s drawing a more precise line in the sand for exploiting errors between old mapping accuracy and the new mapping accuracy.

At the same time, we are providing insurance to my neighbor and others whose house will sustain considerable damage if the event of T100 occurs. Being in the T100 means we are all now, mandated to have insurance and we all pay the same rate for insurance.

It’s a government program of collectivism by inclusion. Rather then a program to correct the problem by permanently making the problem go away. It’s red lining somebody’s property to the insurance companies for their calculated risks. It’s a cheaper and certainly less tyrannical for the government to address the potential problem this way.

This isn’t like New Orleans, but you sure are handling it the same way. I wonder, if the money I will be paying for insurance goes into the reserve pool for damage in New Orleans.

The flood insurance gives the property owners whose house may float away a level of comfort for their investment risk and the lender. Even the future owners and lenders of those houses. At the same time, it makes my home have a stigma attached to it that may alter a person’s level of comfort for their risk and the lender, should I want to sell.

You can read between the lines. The less buyers the lower the value of my investment. Property values have taken a dump already before this.

Furthermore, since those homes in the previous flood plain have deteriorated substantially because they are in a flood zone lessening there value, the new owners who need housing arrive at the decision for their comfort zone

I know we are playing with numbers and theoretical calculations, but in this age of individual responsibility the government’s approach needs to change. We are not fixing the problem, but adding to it for expediency. Given the magnitude of the problem and problems attached, there has to be another way.

I’m finding that a solution to my problem is to spend the extra money to jack up my house the inch and meet your criteria just to not have the government mandate me to buy insurance.

This solution can be paid for in a few years by using the insurance premium. There doesn’t seem to be a government program for my situation other than to buy the flood insurance sponsored by the government or spend the money to meet your criteria.

I look forward to finding a comfort zone in which everybody can live with.

I don’t know the extent of homes in a similar situation as mine. What is even more troubling is my neighbors and friends view that this is another one of the governments tricks. “Can’t fight City hall”.

I don’t want to fight with anybody. I just want to understand all of the implications to the best of my ability.