Lee County waits for FEMA decision on discounted flood insurance

Published: Updated:

Five areas in Lee County are on pins and needles as they wait for FEMA’s decision on whether they will maintain their flood insurance discounts.

FEMA’s decision deadline was on Wednesday; however, all that was heard was crickets as the 25% flood insurance continues to sit in limbo.

 “Why does it take all these months to tell people whether or not you are good?” said Cape Coral resident John Meihle.

Meihle spoke with WINK News about getting a red tag because of unpermitted work being done on a home he watches.

Like Meihle, many residents experienced confusion, frustration and the possibility of fines due to red tags popping up on buildings under construction.

FEMA reported unpermitted work being done on homes and a failure to document and monitor activity in special flood hazard areas.

The five areas under examination included Fort Myers Beach, Cape Coral, Estero, Bonita Springs and unincorporated Lee County.

To maintain the 25% flood insurance discount, the five areas had to submit updated paperwork and documentation before the June 10 deadline.

After the deadline, FEMA had 30 days to assess the documentation and announce a decision.

Wednesday was the final day to release a decision; however, no communication had been made, causing frustration among those affected.

WINK News had reached out to FEMA for a statement on when the decision will be made.

The federal agency had not yet responded to reporters.

While a decision had not been made, the federal agency did finalize a new rule to guard against future floods, inspired in part by the early-season flooding brought by Hurricane Beryl to other parts of the U.S.

According to FEMA, it will pay for the federal cost share for these projects, about 75% or more of a project’s total cost.

The new standard will affect all federally-funded projects to rebuild publicly owned infrastructure, including municipal buildings, fire and police stations and hospitals.

WINK News contacted the five Lee County areas about when they’ll be notified.

Estero’s spokesperson responded, “I will certainly share the news once we receive it, which we understand should be sometime next week.”

Fort Myers Beach representatives released a statement regarding the delay.

The notice stated, “I know we had previously indicated that we would have a determination
on or around the 10th of July. Since it is the 10th today, I wanted to update you that we are
still working through the final decision, and we will have an answer to you no later than this
time next week.”

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

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