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Great Louisiana Flood – 1 Year Update by Linda Burt – Denham Springs, LA

I met Linda Burt at one of our outreach meetings on January 19, 2017 at Linda’s Chicken and Fish at Watson, Louisiana.


Our meetings across Louisiana basically explained all the issues Flood Survivors will be facing when as they start rebuilding, from our experiences in New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy.


We discussed the following issues;


  • Substantially Damaged – in some cases you might want to be determined SD, to receive the additional $30,000 to raise or build a new home.

  • Flood Insurance Premiums – when considering whether to rebuild or raise your home, you need to take into account what your “actuary rate will be” .  How much will your flood insurance bill rise to, once the subsidies are gone.  It might be cost effective to raise it now and not worry about high flood premiums.

  • Flood Insurance Claim – How thousands homeowners were and continually defrauded and underpaid and are still not paid on their flood claim in NY and NJ, 5 years after Sandy.

  • Discussing SBA, ICC, Grant Programs and how to avoid Clawbacks in the future.

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Below is an update. by Linda Burt,  on her rebuilding effort, 1 year after the Great Louisiana Flood in South East, Louisiana.  See how the same issues keep repeating themselves.


“It has been a long time posting an update on the ponderosa, so I thought I would take a little time to do so. I am still in a FEMA trailer and nothing done on the house. At first I thought I was behind time, but have come to realize that by waiting, time has been my friend. When others were repairing, some too quickly, others lost their homes due to past due mortgages, some simply walked away, some demolished and some like me who are still fiighting.

As time goes on, I realize there are different categories of flood victims. Those who repaired too quickly and are either faced with recurring mold, contractors that took their money or those who ran out of money because their flood adjuster appraised them too low for the repairs. Those who did not have flood insurance, received just enough money from FEMA to get their walls up and that was about it. Grant money is available, as well as Restore Louisiana Program, but both are a long wait with lots of paperwork. Then there are those that kept on paying their mortgages on their homes and finally lost. Some took their insurance money and paid their mortgage just to save their homes, but have no more money to repair. Those that threw their hands up and simply walked away. There were very few in the first 6 months that demolished, but I am seeing more and more of that now. Honest contractors and good help are still in shortage, not to mention the back order of needed appliances.

For me, I did have flood insurance which did pay half of a maximum policy by what the flood adjuster appraised the house for. But we all know that everyone’s appraisals were too low and people are having to fight tooth and nail to receive what was rightfully coming to them. I went to many meetings and spent countless hours researching about FEMA, National Flood Insurance Program “NFIP” and their guidelines, but could never get a definite answer to my many questions.

The next order of business was submitting our Supplemental Proof of Loss “POL”. I had everything copied and ready to go, complete with before and after pictures, but I could never find a contractor or appraiser that was willing to come to the house and give me that line by line appraisal that was required. It was then that I was fortunate enough to meet Sondra Richard a local real estate lady and advocate for the local flood victims, at a FEMA meeting. Meeting Sondra put me in touch with adjuster, Kermith Sonnier, who in turn put me in touch with local Denham Springs attorney Brian Abels, who was working with the Katrina and Hurricane Sandy DC attorneys, Josh Katz and Michael Moore of the firm Weisbrod, Matteis and Copley.

After realizing that I had done all I could do on my own, and over stressed with unable to find an appraiser, I hired Josh Katz with the DC law firm. One of the best moves I have made so far. Within a week they had adjuster, Kermith Sonnier out to the house, submitted my supplemental POL and recently sent their own engineer to the house. With the help of Mr. Sonnier’s appraisal and the engineer’s report, I am very hopeful that I will receive close to, if not all of my policy limit. By hiring an attorney, it has relieved me from so much stress.


So after weighing all my options, repair (out), demolish (still possible) or sell, I am accepting the fact that selling will most likely be the best option for me. My time on the ponderosa has been a very long and good one. My home for 27 years since moving to Baton Rouge. But things have run their course for me and this beautiful place I called home. It is time to move on to a new and fresh chapter in my life.

So asking for prayers for strength and guidance that whatever my next transition in this whole ordeal is will be a good one, wherever it may take me. One that will bring new and many more memories, but most importantly, peace and happiness. Will keep you posted.”







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Is Steve Ellis, VP of Taxpayers for Common Sense, an advocate for the Taxpayer or a Lobbyist for Big Buisness?

In a Recent Article Mr. Ellis, Vice President, was quoted as saying “But here you have a program (NFIP) that is subsidizing people to live and develop in harm’s way.”


Mr. Ellis was either misquoted, ill informed or working as a lobbyist for “Taxpayers with Common Sense”.


The federal government has NEVER Subsidized anything concerning the NFIP program.  There is a 24.5 Billion dollar loan to the NFIP.  Which NFIP has been paying $400 million dollars a year in interest payments.  There is only “subsidization” between NFIP policyholders, basically post firm properties pay higher premiums and fees to “subsidze” the pre-firm and SRL properties in the NFIP.


If Mr. Ellis’ statement was correct  –  then China, Japan and Germany, who buy most U.S. Bonds are “subsidizing” the United States.  We all know this is a loan.  At no point in time has the U.S Treasury or Federal Government “forgiven” any loans to the NFIP program.


If Mr. Ellis was truly an Advocate for all Taxpayers he would have raised alarm bells for the last decade about these issues ;


Reason #1 – Billion in Wind Claims transferred to NFIP program.


Reason # 2 – Only 44% of our premiums go toward paying of claims. Industry average is 70% . The 26% difference on 3.5 billion in premiums = $910 million a year in savings to pay off debt.

Reason # 3  – The flooding in New Orleans was caused by the failure of the levees built by Army Corp of Engineers.  Congressman Graves has attributed $18 Billion dollar charge to NFIP and Senator Menendez has attributed a $10 Billion dollar charge to NFIP that should be charged to ACoE.

Reason # 4  – The failure/mismanagement of FEMA / NFIP to mitigate these homes after the 2nd or 3rd flood should not be borne on the shoulders of NFIP policyholders.  No private insurance company would have allowed this to happen.  This is a failure of a federal agency, they should eat this $5 Billion dollars.


Furthermore Congressman Royce explains in this video 

  •  “SRL problem is outpacing  mitigation efforts by a factor of 10 to 1.”

  • “1 home valued at $69,000 flooded 34 times in 32 years.  It resulted in $663,000 in total claims”

  • “The worst part of this is the SRL problem keeps growing”



Reason # 5 – Only 50% of homes situated in flood zones, that have a federally backed mortgage – that are required to purchase flood insurance – do not carry flood insurance.  This is another monumental failure that would bring in well over a Billion a year in premiums.


Reason # 6  By Fema’s own commissioned Technical Mapping Advisory Council, the flood maps are +/- 40% wrong.  See how wildly the FEMA flood maps have changed in NY/NJ region two in just a few short years and how the premiums rise and fall in relation to these faulty flood maps.  If the maps are a mess, we can only assume the actuary side of our flood insurance premium is also a mess.  How can NFIP come to a flood insurance premium that remotely correlates with the true rise of the property?  Lastly New York City paid millions to challenge the flood maps and their accuracy.  The result was that FEMA’s “methodology is deficient” and there were numbers “mathematical errors” which produced significant errors with the mapping.  FEMA finally accepted FEMA’s map appeal and will be reducing elevations across the NY/NJ region between 1 and 2 feet.


REASON # 7 – Systematic Fraud and Underpayment of Flood Insurance  Claims  –  

What type of insurance company hires disbarred attorneys to litigate their claims?

What type of insurance company does not pay thousands of claims 5 years after the storm?

What type of insurance company gets caught being Fraudulent on 60 minutes and no one goes to jail or gets fired?

What type of  insurance company allows billions in fraud –  Wind claims to be FRAUDULENTLY transferred over to NFIP program ?

What type of insurance company is allowed to continue fraud and underpayment  in Southeast Lousiana  and be immune from litigation and no one gets fired ?

What type of insurance company allows fraud and underpayment to continue to happen for over a decade.  Not one person has been fired or put in jail.


Mr. Ellis, we are making you aware of these issues.  Please either debunk them or agree with them and show us you are truly working for the Taxpayer and not the Lobbyists.



George Kasimos

“A Taxpayer with Common Sense”


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Shorted on Your Flood Claim? Still Waiting to get Paid? Watch Steve Adubato interview on Underpayment of Claims

Whether you are still waiting to get paid on your flood claim from SANDY or are currently waiting to get paid  on a flood claims in Louisiana, West Virginia, Florida or other recent Flood, you must WATCH This video. Click on link below to view the video.


Watch the video here 

If you have not been paid on your claim we suggest you call, email, fax and tweet your congressman or Senator and let them know you demand to get paid fairly on your claim now.


CALL, EMAIL, FAX AND TWEET NOW and until you receive your claim check!

Senator Menendez – Washington, DC Office – Phone: (202) 224-4744 – Fax: (202) 228-2197, Newark  Office -Phone: (973) 645-3030 – Fax: (973) 645-0502 – Email; Contact Form    Twitter: @SenatorMenendez


Senator Booker – Washington, DC Office – Phone: (202) 224-3224 – Fax: (202) 224-8378, Newark  Office – Phone: (973) 639-8700 – Fax: (973) 639-8723   Email;    Twitter:  @CoryBooker 


Representative Tom MacArthur  – Washington, DC Office – Phone: (202) 225-4765 – Fax: (202) 225-0778, Ocean County Office – Phone: (732) 569-6495 – Fax: (732) 998-8137    Email: Contact Form   Twitter: @RepTomMacArthur


Representative Frank Pallone – Washington, DC Office – Phone: (202) 225-4671 – Fax: (202) 225-9665, Long Branch Office – Phone: (732) 571-1140 – Fax: (732) 870-3890    Email:   Contact Form   Twitter: @FrankPallone


Representative Chris Smith,  Washington, DC Office – Phone: (202) 780-3035, Fax: (202) 225-7768, Ocean County Office, Phone: (609) 286-2571; (732) 350-2300; Fax: (609) 286-2630    Email:  Contact Form    Twitter: @RepChrisSmith


Representative Frank Lobiondo – Washington, DC Office – Phone: (202) 225-6572 – Fax: (202) 225-3318, Mays Landing Office – Phone: (800) 471-4450 or (609) 625-5008 – Fax: (609) 625-5071    Email:  Contact Form   Twitter: @RepLoBiondo



Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand – Washington, DC Office – Phone: (202) 224-4451 – Fax: (202) 228-0282, NYC Office – Phone: (212) 688-6262 – Fax: (866) 824-6340    Long Island Office – Phone: (631) 249-2825 – Fax: (631) 249-2847, Email:  Contact Form   Twitter: @SenGillibrand


Senator Charles Schumer – Washington, D.C. Office – Phone: (202) 224-6542 – Fax: (202) 228-3027, NYC Office – Phone: (212) 486-4430 – Fax: (202) 486-7803     Email:  Contact Form    Twitter: @SenSchumer


Representative Pete King – Washington, DC Office – Phone: (202) 225-7896 – Fax: (202) 226-2279, Massapequa Park District Office – Phone: (516) 541-4225 – Fax: (516) 541-6602   Email:   Twitter: @RepPeteKing


Representative Kathleen Rice – Washington, D.C. – Phone: (202) 225-5516 – Fax: (202) 225-5758, NY District Office – Phone: (516) 739-3008 – Fax: (516) 739-2973      Email:  Contact Form  Twitter: @RepKathleenRice


Representative Gregory W. Meeks – Washington, DC Office – Phone: (202) 225-3461 – Fax: (202) 226-4169, Rockaway Peninsula Office – Phone: (347) 230-4032 – Fax: (347) 230-4045     Email:  Contact Form   Twitter: @GregoryMeeks


Representative Nydia Velazquez – Washington, D.C. Office – Phone: (202) 225-2361 – Fax: (202) 226-0327, Brooklyn Office – Phone: (718) 599-3658     Email:  Contact Form  Twitter: @NydiaVelazquez


Representative Hakeem Jeffries – Washington, D.C. Office – Phone: 202-225-5936, Brooklyn District Office – Phone: (718) 373-0033      Email:  Contact Form   Twitter: @RepJeffries





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WATCH VIDEO – Willo Kelly discusses “serious concerns” flood bill will “burden” policyholders with much higher premiums.

Willo discusses “serious concerns”about a proposed flood insurance bill that will “burden policyholders with much higher premiums in the form of a higher rate, surcharges and assessments and other Flood Zone issues.


Willo Kelly’s Bio –
– Consultant that serves as the Government Affairs Director for the Outer Banks Home Builders .
– Consultant that serves as the Government Affairs Director for the Outer Banks Association of Realtors
– President of NC-20, This group serves the 20 eastern NC counties.



Watch the full video interview with Willo Kelly here 



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NFIP Reauthorization Update – Willo Kelly writes her Congressman

Willo Kelly wrote her Congressman – Walter Jones -NC , and expressed her “serious concerns”about a proposed flood insurance bill that will “burden policyholders with much higher premiums in the form of a higher rate, surcharges and assessments.  ”


Congressman Walter Jones then  forwarded Willo’s letter to both Chairman Hensarling and Ranking Member Waters.  He also followed up with a conversation with the two most powerful house members concerning NFIP reauthorization.


They both read Willo’s letter and comments on her concerns.  (Click here to view the letter).


We urge you to write a letter to your congressman and Senators and let them know your concern, they will listen.   There are over 5 million flood policy holders, across the country, having similar  flooding / flood insurance premium increases / mapping / or other concerns.  We need to voice them collectively now and until Reauthorization on September 30th this year.


Willo also sent this letter to the National Association of Realtors and the National Home Builders Association Regulatory Affairs staff.  If you are a realtor or broker, please send a letter to your local board, state board and National Association of Realtors.


We will be having a live conversation with Willo Kelly later on today at 5pm, watch and listen here .



Willo Kelly’s Biography- 

Consultant that serves as the Government Affairs Director for the Outer Banks Home Builders .

Consultant that serves as the Government Affairs Director for theOuter Banks Association of Realtors

President of NC-20, This group serves the 20 eastern NC counties.






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