This is insane:
In September 1998, Hurricane Georges swept up a beachfront house along the Gulf of Mexico and tossed it like a bowling ball into John and Gail Leacy’s summer home on the western edge of this barrier island. The Leacys collected thousands of dollars in federal flood insurance and rebuilt.
Last year, Hurricane Ivan slammed their Creole-style three-bedroom cottage with wind and floodwaters. And in late August, a wall of water from Hurricane Katrina severely undercut the house’s concrete pad and pilings.
“We’re still standing, but we’re pretty severely damaged,” Gail Leacy said from her year-round home in Mobile, Ala. “We hope we can save her.”
Dauphin Island is one of the most vulnerable barrier islands in the nation. Since 1979, it has been struck by six hurricanes and has lost nearly 500 expensive vacation homes and rental properties. Yet owners keep building back, trying to elevate their homes out of harm’s way. And the island has received more than $21 million in federal flood payments to help spur redevelopment.
Now, after Katrina, Leacy and hundreds of other Dauphin property owners will join thousands of others in the Gulf states filing claims against their federally backed flood insurance, putting enormous financial strain on the government-run program…
Nearly from its inception, the program has struggled to pay all its claims. It collects $2 billion in annual premiums but has no reserves, heavily subsidizes some of its riskiest customers and relies on the Treasury to bail it out when losses exceed income. Losses this year from Katrina and Hurricane Rita alone could top $10 billion, experts say, forcing the program to borrow billions from taxpayers with no guarantee of repayment.
$10 billion dollars to help subsidize John and Gail Leacy’s vacation home in a hurricane prone flood plain. Clearly I can not be the only person who read this and wanted to vomit. At some point, someone in charge is going to have to come to their senses and just say “No” to these people and those who continually choose to live in these areas yet expect a federal bailout every time ‘disaster’ strikes.