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Flood Risk For Vermonters Is More Than What’s On FEMA’s Flood Maps

Karin Hardy points to land along Ball Mountain Brook in Jamaica where her house stood before Tropical Storm Irene swept it away. Hardy’s former house was not in the FEMA flood zone and she did not have flood insurance.
Photo by Howard Weiss-Tisman for VPR

Karin Hardy says she never thought much about flood insurance before Tropical Storm Irene, but she learned a pretty tough lesson the Monday after the storm in 2011.

Hardy stands on a bridge over the Ball Mountain Brook in Jamaica, looking at a barren patch of land where her house stood before Tropical Storm Irene took it away.

“That was on a Sunday,” she remembers as she talks about the violent floods that followed Tropical Storm Irene. “I went to work Monday morning and called my insurance company and found out pretty quick that I didn’t have flood insurance. And I maybe was a little slow on the take at that moment because I kept asking, ‘Well, what am I supposed to do?'”

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