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Schumer, Rockaway Residents To Senate: Pass Flood Insurance Bill

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Sen. Charles Schumer calls on the U.S. Senate to pass the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act at a news conference on March 10, 2014 in Belle Harbor, Queens. (credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

Sen. Charles Schumer calls on the U.S. Senate to pass the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act at a news conference on March 10, 2014 in Belle Harbor, Queens. (credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Christine Schneider says she wasn’t sure she wanted to rebuild her Rockaway, Queens, home following Superstorm Sandy — not because she feared another powerful storm, but “because we weren’t going to be able to afford our homes once the flood insurance came in.”

After Congress revamped the federal flood insurance program two years ago, premiums were set to increase dramatically.

“We were looking at premiums that range from $12,000 to $36,000 a year,” Dan Mundy of the Broad Channel Civic Association, told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.

But that won’t happen as long as the U.S. Senate approves a bill the House has already passed. The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, sponsored by Rep. Michael Grimm, R-Staten Island, would cap yearly premium increases at 18 percent.

“Coming right after Sandy, when people were just struggling to find the wherewithal to build their little castle, their home, back (the insurance hike) was just doubly insulting,” Sen. Charles Schumer said during a news conference Monday in Bell Harbor, where he called on his fellow lawmakers to pass the bill.

“Is it everything we wanted? No,” Schumer said. “Is it darn good? Yes.”

Grimm held his own news conference on Staten Island on Monday pushing for the Senate to OK the legislation.

Schumer said he is confident the bill will pass — which had Schneider breathing easier.

“I feel like I can continue to raise my family here,” she said.

“I love Rockaway. My heart is here.”

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