Lackawanna Residents Outraged Over Federally Mandated Flood Insurance

December 7, 2012 Updated Dec 7, 2012 at 12:49 AM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

December 7, 2012 Updated Dec 7, 2012 at 12:49 AM EDT

LACKAWANNA, NY (WKBW) -Some Lackawanna Residents voiced their frustrations to local leaders Thursday night at Queen of Angels Church. Many are angry that they're spending thousands of dollars a year in what they call 'unnecessary' FEMA flood insurance. Many of the residents who attended Thursday's forum live near Smokes Creek. In the past, the residential area surrounding Smokes creek notoriously flooded until it was re-dredged in 1963. City leaders say since then, there has not been any major flooding issues, but residents continue to dish out thousands of dollars a year for federally backed insurance.

"My house right now is under insured because if I need $150,000 hazard insurance on my house, I have to have $150,000 in flood insurance," said Resident Denise Romeo. "That would be about $3,000 a year. I'm not paying them $3,000 a year."

New York State Assemblyman Mickey Kearns helped solve a similar situation in South Buffalo a few years ago when he was a common council member. Kearns helped to get the federal government to change the flood maps and remove many homes located near Cazenovia Creek. The assemblyman attended Thursday's meeting in hopes of doing the same thing in Lackawanna.

"It's unconscionable that the federal government at this point in time is putting this burden on such a poor community," said Kearns.

Kearns is now encouraging all impacted Lackawanna Residents to participate in his Flood-Plain Insurance Survey. If you are interested in participating Click Here For Survey. Residents can also stop by Lackawanna City Hall or can call the mayor's office at 716-827-6464 for further information.