Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to work with West Pittston as it seeks to improve its flood plan as opposed to taking action that could hike flood insurance costs for residents.
West Pittston, along with many other communities in Pennsylvania, was devastated during flooding last September and many residents are still dealing with the damage. As the community attempts to recover it is also tasked with updating its flood plan. West Pittston has received notice that it could be placed on probationary status with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) due to certain deficiencies in its floodplain management program and other violations.
Instead of placing FEMA on probationary status, which would result in an increase in flood insurance rates for residents, Senator Casey is calling on the agency to work with the borough to make the necessary adjustments to its flood plan.
"The last things residents of West Pittston need is a rate hike on their flood insurance bill," Senator Casey said. "I'm encouraging FEMA to continue to work collaboratively with West Pittston in a way that will improve the borough's flood plan and shield residents higher flood insurance costs."
The full text of Casey's letter is below:
Mr. W. Craig Fugate
Federal Emergency Management Associations
Dear Mr. Fugate:
It is my understanding that the Borough of West Pittston has received notice that it could be placed on probationary status with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) due to certain deficiencies in its floodplain management program and other violations.
West Pittston, along with many other communities in Pennsylvania, was devastated during flooding last September. I have heard from many constituents who are still dealing with the damage and aftermath of this event. These constituents are very concerned that they could face additional charges or a suspension of the community's eligibility to participation in the NFIP.
I ask that FEMA continue to work with local officials and residents to implement all necessary measures to ensure continued recovery from this disaster. The imposition of penalties or a suspension of the federal flood insurance program would cause significant hardship for a community that continues to recover from last year's flooding. I am therefore calling on FEMA to continue to provide all necessary guidance to the borough to correct deficiencies and remedy outstanding violations. I recognize that FEMA has taken steps to this end and urge your agency's sustained involvement in these efforts. All due consideration should be given to the borough before FEMA decides to impose penalties or suspend the flood insurance program.
I will continue to closely monitor all developments relating to this issue and request that FEMA keep me updated on all relevant information. Thank you for your attention to this request.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator