THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT Copyright (c) 1995, Landmark Communications, Inc. DATE: Tuesday, October 3, 1995 TAG: 9510030254 SECTION: LOCAL PAGE: B1 EDITION: NORTH CAROLINA SOURCE: BY BETTY MITHCELL GRAY, STAFF WRITER LENGTH: Medium: 69 lines
The end of a federal insurance program that paid oceanfront property owners to move or tear down buildings threatened by erosion brought a flood of applications for the program to the Division of Coastal Management.
The division received more than 73 requests from property owners in its Wilmington and Elizabeth City offices for help under the Relocation Assistance Program, commonly known as Upton-Jones, that ended Sept. 23.
``A combination of lunar tides, beach erosion and hurricanes off the coast led to a surge in applications for certification,'' said division Director Roger Schecter.
During the seven-year life of the program, Upton-Jones, named in part for the North Carolina congressman who provided crucial support for the plan, paid property owners 40 percent of a property's insured value to move a building threatened by erosion or up to 110 percent to demolish a building threatened by erosion.
To help North Carolina coastal managers cope, federal flood insurance program managers gave the state an additional 30 days to complete the paper work for certificates of imminent collapse - required for property owners to recover moving expenses under the federal program - if the certificates had been authorized by the program deadline.
Sixteen of the requests were filed in the Wilmington office, mostly from Brunswick County, home of Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle, Holden Beach and Southport.
Division officials in Elizabeth City received 13 requests for certification and issued 10 certificates in the last 30 days of the program, said Ed Harrell, division field representative.
Upton-Jones was intended to encourage people to move erosion-threatened homes away from the beach and help reduce costs for the federally subsidized flood insurance program.
But the program turned out to be more costly than anticipated, officials say, because more than 75 percent of the people who use Upton-Jones benefits choose to have their properties demolished.
Since Congress added the Upton-Jones provision to the federal Flood Insurance Program, more than 300 claims were submitted and about $24 million has been paid out. Of these, about 238 claims for about $13.3 million have been paid for North Carolina properties covered by flood insurance.
Of the total North Carolina claims, 168 were for demolition of erosion-threatened structures and 70 were for relocation. The bulk of North Carolina claims - 223 for about $12.7 million - were filed in Dare and Brunswick counties. ILLUSTRATION: FLOOD INSURANCE CLAIMS
Claims on North Carolina property represented the majority of claims
filed under the federal Relocation Assistance Program, known as
Of about $13.3 million in claims filed, about $7.2 million were from
Dare County and $5.5 million were from Brunswick County.
Here's a look at the number and value of Upton-Jones claims filed as
of March 1995 for the Albemarle area:
Dare County,11 claims; amount: $1,443,028
Nags Head, 84 claims; amount: $4,445,565
Kill Devil Hills, 11 claims: amount: $772,730
Kitty Hawk, 9 claims; amount: $534,018
Southern Shores, 1 claim; amount: $38,280
Currituck County, no claims.