FACT: many Cape homeowners could be underwater & under-insured, the prospect of a hurricane tearing up the East Coast through Long Island and Connecticut, hitting Cape Cod and heading up to Maine “is an event that keeps insurance people awake at night.”
BARNSTABLE — The prospect of a hurricane tearing up the East Coast through Long Island and Connecticut, hitting Cape Cod and heading up to Maine “is an event that keeps insurance people awake at night,” according to Robert DeSaulniers, a flood insurance specialist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s northeast region.
“Experienced insurance property underwriters, without looking at hurricane maps, will tell you we are so overdue for a major hurricane,” he said.
Federal disaster funds could be a long time coming and meager in size, DeSaulniers said, so purchasing National Flood Insurance Program policies through the federal government is a property owner’s best bet.
The majority of those living along the coast of the Cape, however, remain either unaware of the option or simply resistant.
The series of nor’easters that ripped through the region in January and March gave coastal residents just a small taste of what could happen if a Category 3 or greater hurricane were to veer their way. Properties that had never been flooded before were underwater, and when it all drained away, owners had to grapple with hefty repairs, which in some cases have yet to be made.
The home of Joseph Dugas, on Sunset Lane in the Blish Point neighborhood of Barnstable, bordered on one side by the ocean and another by a marsh, was hit hard in both the January and March storms.
“Our cellar had 7 feet of water and it stayed flooded for a long time,” Dugas said. “We lost electricity, the furnace, hot water heater, electrical panels and central air.”