Council Approves New Flood Maps

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

Although no one enthusiastically supports the revisions to the Federal government’s flood plain maps, the Revere City Council did approve them for the sake of the residents.

Last week the City Council held a public hearing about the maps, and on Monday night, the council approved the maps.

Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe said he was not happy with the maps but if they were not approved by the council it would “literally leave the citizens of Revere out in the cold.”

“I’d like to see some commitment to talk to our legislators about this,” Keefe said.

“Our backs are against the wall and we have no choice but to approve,” said Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna. The revised flood maps have to be approved by March 16 or the city will be suspended from the flood insurance program.

“These federal folks don’t know Revere from California,” said Councillor Anthony Zambuto. “If we don’t approve it people can’t buy insurance. We vote it down we put the citizens in jeopardy.”

Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso reminded everyone that the last storm reimbursement was the Blizzard of ’78. At that time low-interest loans were given out. “When we had the tornado not 10 cents came from FEMA,” Guinasso said.

“It’s unfair,” said Councillor Arthur Guinasso. “They (FEMA) are using this to pay for Katrina and other disasters.”

FEMA revised its flood maps, something it does every five years, and especially after the Katrina disaster down south in 2005.

Councillor Robert Haas Jr. reminded people that 60 percent of the city is at or below sea level.

“This is a federal issue,” Haas said. “People’s income is being eroded.”

Several councilors questioned where U.S. Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and Congresswoman Katherine Clark have been and what they think of the revised maps.

“This is one of the biggest rip-offs,” said Ward 5 Councillor John Powers. “I challenge them (the congressional delegation) to get on the ball and do something. We’re paying for a deficiency in the federal government.”

The council voted 9-1 with Councillor George Rotundo voting no.

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