Saturday, March 25, 2006

FEMA: "Go ahead, rebuild. . . heh heh!"
"Delays in releasing new federal maps of New Orleans' most flood-prone neighborhoods have slowed rebuilding, frustrated homeowners and created uncertainty about the future of the region ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

And the angst may all be for nothing, the government says.

Residents of the city and surrounding communities have waited since the fall for the maps that will help determine how much flood insurance they will need to rebuild. Under current maps, 80 percent of New Orleans lies in a federally designated flood plain; that figure probably will rise.

Without the maps, homeowners say they do not know if they can afford to stay and buy the additional insurance required by mortgages or if they will be forced to leave and move father inland.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is issuing preliminary new building standards as early as this week, says homeowners do not have to make that decision now."

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