Bill could save Visalia homeowners money

VISALIA, Calif.

Many people who live along Beverly Drive in South Visalia can tell you they've never once experienced a flood in their neighborhood. Some are still upset that they are forced to pay flood insurance since FEMA enforced a new flood zone map in 2009.

Phillip Cronin said, "I think basically FEMA was looking at it as a drive to get more revenue to build a reserve against catastrophes like Katrina."

Phillip Cronin has been paying his yearly $365.00 bill but says even during Visalia's 2010 record rainfall his street never experienced any flooding.

"No none. None," Cronin said. "We've been here since 79 and we have never had any incidents of flooding or even approaching it."

Cronin is thrilled that local congressman Devin Nunes is pushing a new federal bill that would permanently allow residents in a FEMA flood zone to buy insurance from a private company, not just government-controlled insurance.

Nunes spoke to Action News through video conference about the bill congress passed on Thursday. "Which will be good for homeowners all over the Valley because if you're in a flood plane you'll have the ability to buy from a private insurer which will be much cheaper."

Nunes says homeowners could save one-third of the costs on their flood insurance plans. News of the bill thrilled homeowners on Beverly Drive.

Cronin said, "I'll be still paying it so any help we can get would be greatly appreciated."

Nunes said, "What we found was the bureaucracy was so great and the cost was so high it was really harming homeowners."

Nunes says the senate is expected to pass the bill next week and it could go into law by the end of May.

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