Mayor Henderson addresses Biggert-Waters

“The biggest reason the City of Gulfport is to be affected by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 is because we have 16% of our residents affected one way or the other by the act.” Said city of Gulfport Mayor, Samuel Henderson.

“Subsidies that have been paid towards insurance, in the past, will be phased out at some rate. What we are trying to do is make sure that is slower rather than rapidly. As these subsidies disappear, people are going to start seeing drastically increased insurance rates. We have already heard of some people in town that are actually going to make the annual insurance payments that are higher than a years’ worth of mortgage payments. That’s the kind of impact that could put people, in the food zone, out of house and home.”

“This is a federal government issue; we do not have any ability as a municipality to change this rule. One of the most important things residents can do as a constituent of these Federal Elected Officials is contact your Congressmen, your Senators and other members and give them your opinion.  The contact information for these Federal Elected Officials is located on the main menu under contacts of the city’s website at mygulfport.us.”

“We are no different than any other coastal community that is located by water; prone to flooding. Gulfport residents need to arm themselves with information about the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. On the main page of the city’s website, mygulfport.us, scroll down to the bottom left and you will see Gulfport Flood & Hurricane information. On that link, you can find a map showing the High Hazard Flood Zones within the city. The pink areas on this map will show you the flood hazard areas affected by BW12. Like I said, this will affect 16% of our residents.”

Gulfport Homeowners and business owners are encouraged to learn about their flood risk and talk to their insurance agent to determine if their policy will be affected by BW-12.

This year, the city of Gulfport improved their FEMA National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System score from a seven (7) to a six (6), increasing the available FEMA deductions and improving the cost to residents of Flood insurance premiums.