One Member’s Experience with the New FLOOD PLAIN Insurance Requirements (Comedy of Errors?)
Much to our surprise, my husband and I found ourselves in a flood plain in April. Note: We have had two cottages and now a house on Lake Margrethe since 1982 and not once has any of our property come close to flooding. FEMA designated much of the land around Lake Margrethe, AuSable and Manistee Rivers to be in a flood plain, and our mortgage company required we purchase flood insurance (at the tune of $2,800 per year) by June 4. Although Grayling Twp. filed the appropriate paperwork to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program on April 18th, FEMA reported they could not get everything processed until June 18th. Our current homeowner’s insurance company, Citizen’s, could not help us until the paperwork was completed by FEMA.
Thankfully, the township provided a wonderful document outlining our choices and our very own Charlotte Bloomquist (treasurer of LMPOA) recommended Rowe Professional Services Company, Marv Meyer (989-348-4036).
Marv and his colleague, Cole Sorenson, came out within days to do the initial elevation survey. This helped us determine that we could proceed with the entire survey and file the appropriate paperwork (LOMA- Letter of Map Amendment). The 100 yr. flood plain level on Lake Margrethe is 1135.2 (using the 1988 level) . The closest structure needs to be at least one foot above the flood plain level. Our closest structure to the flood plain is our deck, which came in at 1136.29. Yes, a deck has to be out of the flood plain as well. We just made it. However, if the 1929 level had to be used (1135.5) we would have had to move the bottom steps from the deck. Note: Our house is at 1138.88.
Our mortgage company (Bank of America-BOA) will not accept the elevation survey as evidence that we are in fact not in the flood plain. They will only accept the LOMA from FEMA. Although this paperwork will be filed with FEMA, who knows how long it’ll take FEMA to get it processed? The good news is that BOA will refund the flood insurance money we pay between now and when FEMA sends them a copy of the LOMA. Stay tuned for further developments J. Time to go fishing.
Respectfully submitted by: Sandra Michalik