Tampa Bay area residents to rally against rising flood rates - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Bay area residents to rally against rising flood rates

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Some people afraid of drowning in higher flood insurance premiums plan to protest this weekend.

A grassroots effort called Stop FEMA Now is organizing rallies in 10 states Saturday to urge congress to delay the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. The bill, which is set to take effect Tuesday, will end government subsidized flood insurance policies for homeowners in flood zones.

Thousands of Tampa Bay area residents, who live on and away from the water, could see their premiums triple, quadruple, or increase even more than that.

Related story: Flood insurance rates set to soar in bay area

"We don't live on the water, but a few doors down from a canal and even still our flood insurance has the potential to become unaffordable and could kick us out of our house," said Kenneth Strickland of St. Petersburg.

Strickland is helping organize Saturday's rally at the Ballast Point Pier in Tampa.

The founder of Stop FEMA Now lives in a Tom's River, NJ neighborhood hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

"The disaster from FEMA is actually worse than the disaster from Sandy," George Kasimos told News Channel 8 by phone.

Kasimos is urging Floridians to direct their concerns to their US Senators and Representatives. The Sunshine State leads the nation with more than two million homeowners who could be impacted by rising flood insurance rates.

"We need to get every community, specifically the folks in Florida, because they have more skin in the game than anyone else. And we need to get everybody aboard and that's why we're having a national rally," explained Kasimos.

Saturday's rally near the Ballast Point pier starts at noon.

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