Flood insurance program may prevent rebuilding of fishing lodges in South Portland

Flood insurance program may prevent rebuilding of fishing lodges in South Portland

Fishing shacks that stood in South Portland for decades and were swept away by a powerful storm last month may never return. Concerns about flood insurance may prevent efforts to restore the landmark. Residents are still coping with the damage done to their community on Jan. 13, specifically their favorite fishing shacks. “It was heartbreaking. It was horrible. You know, those things were stuck in my mind,” said Larry Fishman, a South Portland resident. Fundraising efforts began immediately to rebuild the monuments. This part was far from being the most difficult obstacle. “It’s not a financial issue when it comes to rebuilding. There will be no tax money needed. It will certainly be donations from the public,” said Kathy De Filippo, executive director of the South Portland Historical Society. National Flood Insurance Program, and for the city to remain part of the program, they must follow strict guidelines. Fisherman’s Point, where the huts are located, is located in the federal flood and beach areas. According to the flood insurance program, if cottages are rebuilt in the same place, neighboring properties may be at risk of losing flood insurance. DeFilippo says the historical society is not proposing that anyone lose their flood insurance because of rebuilding the cottages. But she says they hope the government program will look at a positive solution for everyone. “Our point was that these fishing huts are unoccupied and, therefore, would not cause any loss of life if rebuilt, and perhaps the language could be amended to allow an exception for construction of this type?” DeFilippo said. DiPhilippo says the next step is to involve the South Portland City Council in the process of asking the program to change the language. She says if there is no council, there is no reason to go ahead with rebuilding the shacks.

Fishing shacks that stood in South Portland for decades and were swept away by a powerful storm last month may never return.

Concerns about flood insurance could prevent efforts to restore the landmark.

Residents are still coping with the damage done to their community on Jan. 13, specifically their favorite fishing shacks.

“It was heartbreaking. It was horrible. You know, those things were stuck in my mind,” said Larry Fishman, a South Portland resident.

Fundraising efforts began immediately to rebuild the monuments.

This part was far from the most difficult hurdle.

“It’s not a financial issue when it comes to rebuilding. There will be no tax money needed. It will certainly be donations from the public,” said Kathy De Filippo, executive director of the South Portland Historical Society.

South Portland is part of the National Flood Insurance Program, and for the city to remain part of the program, they must follow strict guidelines.

Fisherman’s Point, where the huts are located, is located in both flood zones and federal coastal lands. According to the flood insurance program, if cottages are rebuilt in the same place, neighboring properties may be at risk of losing their flood insurance.

DeFilippo says the historical society is not proposing that anyone lose their flood insurance because of rebuilding the cottages.

But she says they hope the government program will look at a positive solution for everyone.

“Our point was that these fishing huts are unoccupied and, therefore, would not cause any loss of life if rebuilt, and perhaps the language could be amended to allow an exception for construction of this type?” DeFilippo said.

DiPhilippo says the next step is to involve the South Portland City Council in the process of asking the program to change the language. She says if there is no council, there is no reason to go ahead with rebuilding the shacks.

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