Wednesday, May 31, 2006

MidCity exits the Flood Zone
and enters the Twilight Zone

I laughed 'till I cried when I read the letter that began "We are writing to notify you that [MY MORTGAGE COMPANY] will no longer require you to carry flood insurance on your property.

"This change is the result of a flood review that was performed in accordance with the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, a Federal law, amended by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994. This review indicates that your property is no longer in a flood zone..."

I rushed out to the porch to make sure that this letter was not the result of a determination that I was now officially a resident of the seabed of the Gulf of Mexico, but there was no sign of sea life, not even a gull. Neither were there any signs of diminutive neighbors, crushed witches or any hint of yellow in the crumbling macadam visible from my porch.

No, there's the debris piles in front of the houses, and the one remaining rescue mark on the block. The gaily decorated flood car remains at the corner of Toulouse and N. St. Patrick. Best I can tell, I'm still in MidCity in New Orleans and neither in Oz nor rehearsing "Under The Sea" with a guy in a crab suit.

I will await the letter announcing that I am now required to participate in some other sort of program due to a determination that my house is situated in the Twilight Zone.



Comments:
Up is down. Right is left. War is peace.

Un-mmm-mmm-believable.
 
15 years ago when we built our house, we were told since we were 4 feet ABOVE sea level; we did not need flood insurance. I told the agent that was nice, then asked, "Now how much will it be?"
 
You need to change your location on your profile from "exile" to NOLA Twilight Zone.
 
just to play devil's advocate, you're not by chance in the thin blue strip that corresponds with the Metairie and Esplanade ridges are you? that's irrelevant and I doubt that they're that good.

Just an excuse since I liked that graphic, but the flooding timeline that it came with was more noteworthy when it came out a couple of weeks ago. It actually gave a fairly good idea of how parts of mid-city looked last fall and some,most maybe, still look. Of course, not even the dark blue was unscathed, but you could see the difference between even the blue and the green.
 
Words fail.

Here is a rule of thumb: banks and mortgage companies are stupid.
 
Actually, I think of my neighborhood as "the point", a little short strip of Toulouse that apparent is just high enough that water was under and not in the houses.
 
I used to do flood determinations for a company that maintained the database that is used for insurance. There are a dozen things that could skew a determination. Determinations are made on such sketchy information and it isn't updated very often. Basically, what we did was manufacture accuracy, not employ it. All one can realistically say is, "Buy as much insurance as you can afford and then some."
 
Oh good god. This really is too much. Perhaps you should send them the interactive map showing the depth of water at any given address. Or the map from NOLA about how and when the levees broke.

This truly is madness. So do we at least get to pick which Twilight Zone episode we like best? I'm thinking maybe Burgess Meredith and the library with the broken glasses.
 
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