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Many homeowners forced to buy flood insurance

November 20, 2009
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California's "7 On Your Side" is flooded with complaints from homeowners who don't understand why their homes are suddenly labeled a flood risk.


Michael Finney
abc7news.com News Team,

SUNNYVALE, CA (KGO) -- If you have received a notice from your bank that your house is now part of a flood zone, you are not alone. Thousands of people are getting the same notices and many are pretty upset.

Many of these people have lived in their homes for decades and never had any reason for concern, but suddenly the government says they're in a flood zone, and like it or not, they have to start paying into a national flood insurance program.
 
Adeline McKinnon has lived in her Sunnyvale house for half a century. Her daughter Marsha grew up there.

They never had any problem with rising water in this neighborhood, so the 84-year-old was shocked to get a notice from Bank of America saying her house is now in a special flood hazard area and she must buy flood insurance.
 
"Well, I don't like it because I can't afford it for one thing," she said.
 
The bank will charge her $2,400 per year for a policy, unless she buys one of her own -- and quick.
"I thought it was crazy after living here for 51 years; all of a sudden she's in a flood zone," said Marsha. "I mean, it's not like the house has moved anywhere."
 
No, it didn't move. So what happened? The Federal Emergency Management Agency, known as FEMA, just revised its flood maps using new digital technology. It can pinpoint exactly which properties fall into flood zones and which do not. ...
 
To read the rest of the story and watch the newscast, click to http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/7_on_your_side&id=7128889.

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