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UPDATE: FEMA gave Lee County, 4 cities another chance to save insurance discount

In another sudden pivot, FEMA gave Lee County and 4 cities 30 days to provide additional information needed in order to preserve a critical flood insurance discount for residents.
Hurricane Ian surge on San Carlos Island
Posted at 7:02 PM, Apr 08, 2024

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Monday afternoon, Fox 4's Senior Reporter Kaitlin Knapp was able to confirm that Lee County and the cities of Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Estero, and Ft Myers Beach were granted a brief reprieve from losing a critical flood insurance discount through FEMA.

Late on Friday, March 29, Lee County announced that FEMA was suddenly rescinding a 25% flood insurance discount starting October 1 for the communities listed above due to a lack of documentation and follow-through to mitigate rebuilding concerns in hazard areas.

Lee County strongly disputed FEMA's claims, and during the next week, county leaders and staff made dozens of documents and emails public to show how responsive they had been to FEMA requests for information and modifications, a sentiment that was echoed by leaders in Cape Coral, Fort Myers Beach, and Bonita Springs. Cape Coral's mayor even called FEMA "villains" for pulling the discount from residents who needed it the most.

Monday afternoon (April 8) FEMA issued this statement:

"We are committed to helping communities take appropriate remediation actions to participate in the Community Rating System and remain in good standing with the National Flood Insurance Program.

Each of the five communities will have an additional 30 days to gather requested documentation to help retain their standing in the Community Rating System."

FEMA did not give any additional information to explain the change of heart. Our Fox 4 Community Correspondents in Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, and Ft Myers Beach will be reaching out to local leaders for reaction to this second sudden pivot by FEMA, and we'll update you right here on fox4now.com.