Lee County leaders to give update on 30-day flood insurance hold

Published: Updated:

Lee County leaders are set to provide an update on the controversial decrease in the flood insurance discount percentage for residents.

Residents of Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers Beach, and unincorporated areas of Lee County may see their flood insurance policy discount decrease due to the failure to properly document property damages following Hurricane Ian.

Commissioners intend to inform residents on Tuesday about the progress made in their negotiations with FEMA after a letter was sent a week prior stating that they were under the impression that all issues were resolved.

Their goal is to maintain the community rating system that allows the 25% flood insurance policy discount.

Congressman Byron Donalds became aware of the issue and announced his attempts to convince FEMA officials to extend the 30-day hold.

FEMA representatives expressed concerns to much of Lee County regarding the granting of unpermitted work during the repair process following Hurricane Ian, prompting their reasoning for pulling the 25% discounted rate.

While Donalds acknowledged some residents “cutting the red tape” when repairing and rebuilding their homes following Ian, the focus should now be shifted to extending the hold time to lessen the strain on local homeowners.

“I don’t think it’s enough at all. I think we’re probably going to need more time, which is why the agency can’t just drop this in our lap and walk away,” said Donalds. “It frankly is going to force out some of our middle-income and lower-income residents to have to relocate out of the area.”

While FEMA claims that hundreds of residents failed to follow the process post-Ian, Donalds counters that statement by claiming the insurance spike will affect the people who did follow the rules.

He says he plans to meet with FEMA officials on the ground and in Washington to ask them to extend this pause.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.