Today, Congressman Visclosky hosted a briefing for the residents of Hammond and Highland to provide them with more information about the recent removal of thousands of homes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated Special Flood Hazard Zone. This removal occurred thanks to the hard work of Hammond Mayor McDermott and the Highland Town Council, who were able to secure a Letter of Map Revision from FEMA reevaluating the flood hazard zone following the construction of a new levee.
Congressman Visclosky brought together representatives from FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission, the National Flood Insurance Program, the City of Hammond, and the Town of Highland. The program included remarks by North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan and Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott, Jr.
Congressman Visclosky said, “I applaud the efforts undertaken by Hammond, Highland, the Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission, the Regional Development Authority, state and local governments, concerned community organizations, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to get the new levee built and to work to see that these residents were removed from the flood hazard zone. Furthermore, I am grateful to share this opportunity with FEMA to educate the affected residents. Through their hard work and dedication, the citizens of Hammond and Highland will be safer, and will reap the economic benefits of no longer being part of the flood hazard zone.”
Mayor McDermott of Hammond said, “With the assistance of Congressman Visclosky, we have been able to remove approximately 1,000 homes and businesses from the floodplain. By doing so, we are able to save these property owners an average of $500-1,000 annually. In addition, the change in flood zone status represents the culmination of our joint efforts to protect our residents from the danger and damage that might occur during a flood.”
Michael Griffin, Clerk-Treasurer to the Town of Highland, remarked, “I know that the Highland Town Council joins me in commending Congressman Visclosky's leadership and advocacy that brought us to this long sought moment. We commend the Congressman and all the hands — the US. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA among them — that advanced the flood map zone revision. For 1,600 Highland families and their homes, this effort has not only provided greater flood protection but notable financial relief by reducing the considerable cost of flood insurance to these residents.”
Residents from Hammond, Highland, and Munster turned out to today’s event, held at the Wicker Park Social Center in Highland from 5:00PM – 7:00PM. If you were unable to attend the event, please visit www.visclosky.house.gov to see the presentation.