Color Me Cranky

…but, when you live ON the water, should this be that big a surprise?

It is easy to understand what attracted Richard Pinegar and his family to Dauphin Island, Alabama. From the terrace of their elevated seafront home, they look down on the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico lapping against an idyllic white sand beach, just footsteps away.
After 11 years, however, Mr Pinegar has decided to trade in his piece of paradise for somewhere on higher ground.
He has grown tired of repairing his property after each of the powerful hurricanes and tropical storms that have struck the island over recent years.
“We had not finished rebuilding after Ivan when Katrina struck,” he said. “It will break my heart to leave. But living here has become a constant struggle between man and nature and nature is winning.”

Plus the fact that I don’t owe you a rebuild on your sand castle 18 times before you give-up. Live a couple miles inland like we do and quit whining.

Critics complain that reckless private investment in places such as Dauphin Island is subsidised bytaxpayers through thegovernment-run National Flood Insurance Program. The programme, which has had to borrow heavily from the US Treasury to cover recent hurricane losses, was established in 1968 to protect homeowners in flood-prone areas.
But the scheme has allowed developers to build homes in places that would be considered too risky by commercial insurers.
Dauphin Island, which has lost 500 homes to storms over the past 25 years, had received more than $200m in NFIP payouts before Katrina and that figure will now increase sharply.

Better the attitude of our Uncle Dick. They bought a second home on Hatteras a million years ago and were 3 rows back. Now they’re one row from the beach. Being a max anal type, he’d spent the money then for the stilts and steel hurricane shutters that have helped his beach house hang on in the face of some pretty exhuberant storms over the past 30 odd years, while 2 full streets of less foresighted neighbors were eaten by the Atlantic. The plan? He sells when he becomes beachfront. “Everybody always forgets about the storms a year later and real estate goes through the roof. Then we’re outta here.”
Just because you hadn’t had a hit in 34 years (like our one N.C. summer with Bertha, then Fran 3 months later almost to the day) doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. It’s been our experience (usually because we’ve moved somewhere that hasn’t been hit in, like, forever…and gets schmacked good after we get there…I sense an ugly trend…) that the lull means things are saving up for a wallop, vice a glancing blow. If you are going to move everything you own and love to one and only one home and it’s beachfront, you need to be pragmatic and appreciate every single day that you get to spend there. All the while realizing that when Mother Nature decides it’s time for you to go, you’ll leave. On her terms.

3 Responses to “Color Me Cranky”

  1. Ken Summers says:

    I have the same problem with providing money to Mulholland and Topanga canyons every other year.

  2. They’re also the first to pi$$ and moan when their insurance goes up and it’s never in proportion to what they get as a settlement versus what our roof and fence (minus 10% deductible) cost. Now, we’ve got an upgraded roof and are in even better shape for the next one, but they can still get washed away. Sympathy meter pegged, sorry.

  3. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Critics complain that reckless private investment in places such as Dauphin Island is subsidised bytaxpayers through thegovernment-run National Flood Insurance Program.
    Can’t argue with this. All the developer has to do is put the elevation of the first floor of a home just 1 foot above the elevation of the 100 year flood plain, and it’s legal.
    The problem is that development is good for local governments, especially counties, who enforce the NFIP. A development means a healthy economy and good tax base. It’s not in their interests to stop developments……even if they are in the flood plains (riverine or shoreline).
    Buyers are supposed to be told by the bank handling the mortgage that flood insurance is required. Some people simply can’t (or won’t) recognize flooding hazards. Even sillier, while the insurance is required for the mortgage, it’s not monitored. Many people let their insurance lap…..and in steps FEMA when a disaster hits.
    Ultimately, the politicians seldom have the courage to tell their constituents that they are out of luck.
    Funny thing is, this problem is not consistent throughout any one river basin. I mind me one river basin where the folks near the mouth screeched every time it flooded….wondering why they were flooded for the umpteenth time.
    Further upstream, the people expected to be flooded, and their homes were built accordingly. Hardly a complaint came from them.
    By no small coincidence, the elected leadership of the screechers were always banging on state and federal doors for funding to deal with the problem. One mayor practically made bilking the state for flood money his avocation.

Image | WordPress Themes