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Berkeley Co. residents could get discount on flood insurance

Class 7 community rating attributed to flood mitigation efforts and adoption of Clean and Safe ordinance

September 22, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Effective Oct. 1, Berkeley County residents who have flood insurance could net a 15 percent discount on their premiums thanks to county floodplain-management efforts, officials said.

Donna Seiler, the county's litter control and code enforcement officer, attributed the new Class 7 community rating to multiple people involved with efforts to tackle flood mitigation, particularly cleanup efforts in Sportsman's Paradise and adoption of the county's Clean and Safe County ordinance in August 2010.

Berkeley County scored the highest among several other participants in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Community Rating System, which also included Jefferson County, Charleston, W.Va., Prince William County, Va., and Caroline County, Md., Seiler said.  

The county's score is based on activities that tackle flood preparedness, flood damage reduction, mapping, regulations and public information.

"There are so many factors to getting a better score with FEMA," Seiler said.

Seiler also told Berkeley County Council members Thursday that efforts to remove structures in the floodplain portion of Sportsman's Paradise along the Potomac River continue.

An informational meeting about an ongoing hazard-mitigation program focusing on removing structures in the floodplain there is scheduled for Oct. 6. Sixteen property owners already have expressed interest in participating, Seiler said.

More than 30 parcels in the subdivision in Falling Waters, W.Va., are in the process of being acquired and will be deeded to the county. Eleven structures are expected to be removed.

The council on Thursday opened bids from five contractors to demolish and clean up properties in Sportsman's Paradise, as well as some sites targeted through the Clean and Safe County ordinance.

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