To the editor:
I was shocked by the actions of Essex Annual Town Meeting in its rejection of Article 20 which simply re-committed the town to participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
The town refused to accept the new 2012 Federal Emergency Management Agency flood plain maps.
A "yes" vote for this article simply would have permitted flood-prone residents of Essex the needed protection of federally-guaranteed flood insurance.
In the event of a declared flood emergency, many of our residents could now face total unmitigated loss of real property since we have eliminated our federal flood protection safety net. Without federal backing, some could face steep increase in their existing flood insurance or outright rescission of policies.
This article will no doubt be revisited at the next Town Meeting, and I urge its swift passage. Every coastal community participates in the national flood insurance program and so should Essex.
We are already paying for it. Adopting the new maps as presented at Town Meeting is simply the necessary housekeeping our town needs to do for the financial security of all our residents.