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Stone Harbor Anticipates Regaining Level 5 CRS Status

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By Vince Conti

STONE HARBOR – Community Rating System Coordinator Ray Poudrier reported to the borough council Tuesday, Dec. 5, that an initial review of the borough’s submissions to a Federal Emergency Management Agency consultant indicate that the borough will move back to its level 5 status in the CRS, which would mean a 25% discount on federal flood insurance would be available to property owners.

The borough’s CRS score dropped from a 5 to a 7 in April when points gained at the time of Superstorm Sandy reached the end of their 10-year life. The expired points not only dropped the borough CRS level, it reduced the flood insurance premium discount from 25% to 15%. The borough responded with a task force charged with regaining the previous level. It also contracted with DeBlasio & Associates for professional assistance.

According to Poudrier, the FEMA consultant who reviews the borough’s submission found over 3,000 points earned based on the borough’s flood awareness and mitigation activities, which would normally carry the CRS score to a level 4, one level higher than the 5 that was the borough’s main target. Poudrier said he was told that FEMA was “reserving” the level 4 designation “at this time.” There were no details on why.

Poudrier did caution the council that the results, as conveyed by the FEMA consultant, still need formal approval from FEMA itself. Reclaiming the level 5 status will not be final until FEMA concurs with the work of its contractor. Poudrier said he felt confident that the results would be confirmed by FEMA.

Even with FEMA approval, the return to a level 5 will not take place until Oct. 1, 2024, Poudrier said. That means almost a year remains before the higher discount is again available to property owners. Until then, new or renewal contracts in the National Flood Insurance Program would be entered into at the level 7 status.

Poudrier said the successful effort to regain the level 5 designation was the product of the combined effort “of everyone who works in this building.” He described the effort as a team success.

Contact the author, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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