Letter: Insurance: ‘good news’ for whom?I am responding to the article in Jan. 23 Woodbury Bulletin regarding Woodbury flood insurance.
I am responding to the article in Jan. 23 Woodbury Bulletin regarding Woodbury flood insurance. I was somewhat surprised to see the city characterize the results of FEMA’s flood mapping for Woodbury as a “good news” story. Good news for whom?
The city, perhaps, but certainly not the residents who will now be required to purchase flood insurance at a cost of up to $2,400 per year for coverage that includes very little protection for basements and will require disclosure on all future sales of the property.
The fact that residents who want and need insurance can get it is a good thing — but the fact that over 500 homes in Woodbury have been declared to be in a 100-year floodplain by FEMA is indicative of the magnitude of the stormwater problem that the city of Woodbury faces.
This problem was created by engineering consultants — the same ones who are now saying there really is no problem — and designs that pre-date any of the current city council or engineering staffs at the city.
These problems are unfortunately, now their responsibility to resolve. The city and its consultants have known about these flood risks for many years, but did not inform the public or take action until after the 2005 flood.
The 500 families who are now being informed that their homes were approved and constructed within a floodplain have every right to expect the city should address the root cause of this problem.
Current solutions being developed by the city and watershed focus on individual floodproofing grants and retention ponding fall short of addressing the root problem — we have too much water flowing into the city and not enough flowing out.
As rapid development on the city’s northeast and south sides continue, these stormwater issues are going to increase in magnitude and frequency.
These developments, however, also offer a one-time opportunity to alleviate some of the problems with our stormwater systems. Retention ponding and stormwater retention requirements should be increased to beyond the current “water neutral” standards and should include provisions for additional overflow capacity.
All residents have a unique opportunity to contribute to this discussion by participating in the City’s Comprehensive 30 year plan.
I appreciate the city’s recognition of the issue by its inclusion in the proposed Comprehensive Plan, but 30 years is a very long time and the city needs to get much more creative and aggressive in its approach to this problem over that time period.