Lee Commissioners address FEMA National Flood Insurance Program determination

The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, April 2, discussed the county’s response to the FEMA verbal notification late last week that it would eliminate Community Rating System current discounts on National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) premiums.

The board voted to grant “any and all tools” needed by County staff to investigate and work to address the FEMA determination. To view the discussion, go to https://youtu.be/OZIy7wwuHws

The county and its municipal partners are committed to full transparency as it relates to the FEMA determination.

“We are committed to working on behalf of our residents toward a resolution on this issue,” said Lee Board of County Commission Chairman Mike Greenwell.

On March 29, county and city officials informed the public that FEMA on March 28 had verbally told them about the unanticipated rating change. Local governments were offered no written notification or documentation outlining specific details about the situation. During the weekend, FEMA indicated via several media outlets that it had sent letters to local jurisdictions.

The county would like the public to understand that local governments receive informational requests from FEMA frequently, especially since Hurricane Ian made landfall in 2022.

Several media outlets have referenced specific letters FEMA sent to Lee County since Hurricane Ian.

It should be noted that the county responded to each request from FEMA – and did so by FEMA’s specified deadline. The county provided requested documentation.

After the informational requests were responded to, the county did not receive communications back from FEMA to indicate the documentation would result in a retrograding of the county’s Community Rating System (CRS), which has consistently been a 5.

The county is continuing its fact-finding related to FEMA’s move to verbally inform the county the rating would be retrograded to a 10 effective Oct. 1, 2024.

It is important to note the retrograde effective Oct. 1, 2024, will not apply to all flood insurance policies. This will affect those with current CRS discounts.