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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – North Topsail Beach residents have expressed their frustrations over outrageous flood insurance prices for nearly 30 years, and now, one leader in particular is looking to change the law.
U.S. Senator Kay Hagain introduced a bill Wednesday that aims to fix a mistake that prevents those residents from participating in the National Flood Insurance Program, according to a spokesperson for Hagan.
The bill would change a map that incorrectly labeled the area as undeveloped.
“This mistake has burdened the residents of North Topsail Beach for far too long,” said Hagan, in a statement. “For over 30 years North Topsail Beach homeowners have unfairly been forced to rely on costly private flood insurance to protect their homes. Replacing this inaccurate map would save these families thousands of dollars a year.”
The map was part of the Coastal Barrier Resource Act (CBRA), which was created to keep people away from flood prone areas so that the federal government wouldn't have to foot the bill any time disaster strikes.
Congress gave the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service the task of finding places that looked like undeveloped beach area, and they designated seven of the 11 miles of North Topsail's beachfront in that category.
The wildlife service made their observations in 1982, before many homes had been built.
The town, not knowing the full effects of being in a CBRA Zone until years later, didn't take immediate action to fix the error.
More than half of homeowners on North Topsail Beach cannot get federal flood insurance, so they have been forced to find it privately.
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