FEMA flood rules keeping some Long Beach homeowners from rebuilding

Homeowners say that FEMA rules mean they have to raise their homes higher above sea level. (1/24/13)

LONG BEACH - Homeowners on the west end of Long Beach are finding it difficult to settle insurance claims due to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood guidelines that mandate they raise their homes higher above sea level.

FEMA guidelines say that homes must be 8 to 20 feet above sea level to be in compliance with flood rules. Homeowners say that estimates for the project to raise their homes 8 feet run upward of $200,000. 

Homeowners say they have reached out to the City of Long Beach, which has reportedly reached out to state and federal officials about the issue.

City officials say they're looking into another program that would help homeowners who can't afford to elevate their homes. The program was used to help Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans.

About 300 people are already on a waiting list for the program. 

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