For many homeowners in the region, the flood maps were a double whammy. The federal government, which for years has subsidized the cost of flood insurance, passed the Biggert Waters Act in 2012 that sought to push the full cost onto coastal property owners. The cost of insurance can be enormous — in Newbury for example, Selectman Joe Story said one homeowner reported a $480 annual flood insurance bill could rise to $10,000.
Tierney and other lawmakers saw the Rockport decision as an important turning point in their effort to change the FEMA maps.
“FEMA’s decision to use a model that was untested and inaccurate for the Northeast is yet another example of its preference to do things quickly rather than properly. I am proud that the Town of Rockport, located in the Sixth District, took the initiative to seek out a more accurate mapping technique and appeal its flood maps on behalf of its constituents and hope that FEMA will recognize the unnecessary burden it has placed on so many families and businesses in Massachusetts and delay implementation of its new flood maps until they can accurately reflect the true flood risk in our communities. I will continue to fight to provide relief to residents and businesses who have been wronged by the mismanaged and unfair implementation of these maps and flood insurance rates,” said Tierney in a statement.