NewsLocal News

Actions

UPDATE: Lee County has 30-day extension to try and save flood insurance discount

Last month FEMA rescinded a 25% flood insurance discount starting October 1 due to a lack of documentation and follow-through to mitigate rebuilding concerns in hazard areas.
Lee County Commissioner FEMA insurance fight April 16
Posted at 5:53 PM, Apr 19, 2024

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Friday afternoon, Lee County announced FEMA granted the area a 30-day extension to submit documents that will reflect the actions taken in the Special Flood Hazard Area after Hurricane Ian, demonstrating full compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

This comes after Lee County announced last monththat 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.

Hurricane Ian surge on San Carlos Island
Hurricane Ian struck San Carlos Island, as well as Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, and other parts of Southwest Florida just shy of a Category 5 storm on September 28, 2022.

In a letter received from FEMA on Friday, the county says it learned that June 10 is the new deadline for document submission.

The previous deadline was May 9th.

The extension, the county says, also applies to the impacted municipalities – City of Bonita Springs, City of Cape Coral, the Village of Estero and the Town of Fort Myers Beach.

Lee County says FEMA also acknowledged in its letter sent last week by Lee County and the municipulaties matches the expectations of necessary documentation.

In its notice today, Lee County expressed appreciation for the partnership with FEMA "as both parties work to retain the county’s and four municipalities’ Community Rating System (CRS) classifications".

The Lee Board of County Commissioners is committed to retaining the CRS rating of 5 to maintain the discount available to residents with NFIP policies.

FEMA also acknowledged in its letter today that the letter sent last week by Lee County and the municipalities matches the expectations of necessary documentation. That letter also is posted on the landing page.

Hurricane Ian
Satellite image of Hurricane Ian as it makes landfall in Southwest Florida on September 28, 2022.

Here's the county's outline for addressing the issue:

  • The county has met with the FEMA administrator and is continuously working with the FEMA Region 4 administrator and FEMA staff.
  • FEMA has now embedded staff in the county and the municipalities.
  • County staff members are working diligently to provide specific documentation that will reflect the actions taken post-Ian, which made landfall Sept. 28, 2022, and was the largest hurricane to make landfall in Lee County and is ranked as the third costliest tropical system to make landfall in the United States.
  • The documentation will reflect the county’s records of site work review, including but not limited to: violations for unpermitted work, stop work orders, complaint code cases, processed renovation permits, documents demonstrating work was not substantial damage, documents proving work was substantial damage and demolition permits.

Additional information and documents related to this issue can be found at www.leegov.com/femacrs [leegov.com].