Homeowners of flood-damaged homes concerned about FEMA regulations

Flooding Insurance
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Several homes were heavily damaged by flood water after Region 8 experienced torrential rainfall this spring.

But, even with the Federal Emergency Management Agency stepping in, some homeowners are disappointed to know their homes will not receive help.

According to communications director Bill Campbell with the city of Jonesboro, FEMA has a repetitive loss program where they buy a structure, covered by flood insurance, that has flooded multiple times.

There are two types of "buy-out" programs:

  • 75/25 where FEMA will give 75% of the home value and the city would pay 25%.
  • 90/10 where FEMA will give 90% of the home value and the city would pay 10%

Unfortunately, for some residents in need of assistance, they have to have had flood insurance one more than one occasion where their home has experienced flood damage to qualify.

One local homeowner, Aimee McDonald, had her home damaged both in March and May.

Because she had flood insurance during May's flood and not during the flood in March, her house does not qualify for FEMA assistance.

"My frustration is that my home has flooded twice in a six-month time period," said McDonald. "I spoke with the city and the mayor who all told me there was nothing they could do."

During the first flood, McDonald spent $10,000 out of pocket without flood insurance. During the second flood with flood insurance, she suffered $46,000 in damages.

Now, she is stressing the importance of having flood insurance no matter where you are at all times.

"We are in flood zone X," said McDonald. "Flood zone X means rarely to never going to flood and we flooded twice in six weeks. Nobody is really in a non-flood zone in you live here in Jonesboro so my recommendation is to get flood insurance and get it now."

McDonald said she understands the city has to comply with FEMA's regulations, but she is upset knowing her home has to go through another flooding disaster in order for her to receive help.

"Every time it rains, I am paranoid," said McDonald. "My boys are scared because they know what could happen when it floods. I just have many things to worry about and do not want worrying about my home flooding to be a priority."

McDonald said she wishes there was a better solution to this problem for everyone, but more importantly, she wants to raise awareness of the importance of having flood insurance.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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