Wednesday July 13, 2011 | 12:18 PM

A House-passed revamp of the National Flood Insurance Program offers aid to Mainers whose homes have been wrongly judged to be in a flood zone, says Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd.

The bill passed Tuesday night, the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011, broadly renews the National Flood Insurance Program and sets out a plan to reduce Federal Emergency Management Agency’s debt.

But it also creates the ability for homeowners to get federal reimbursement for having to hire a contractor or engineer to obtain what is known as a Letter of Map Amendment to demonstrate the error and have their home taken out of flood plain status. Currently, homeowners must bear those costs.

Michaud said that the Maine State Planning Office has found that the state has the most LOMA’s per capita of any state.

This bill will provide relief to Mainers who find their homes wrongly designated as in a flood zone,” Michaud said in a statement. “This is a serious problem in our state, and I’m pleased this bill will ensure that homeowners are not saddled with additional costs due to inaccurate flood maps.”

The bill passed 406-22. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st, also voted in favor.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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