story by Colby Dunn | infographics by George Alread
Dan Vaughn lives on a hill above a pond. He has re-financed his home three times and never knew he lived in a flood zone, as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. So he was a little surprised when a letter arrived on his doorstep from his mortgage company, demanding that he purchase flood insurance.
"Initially, we thought 'Ok, well that's not a big deal,'" said Vaughn. "What we found out was that flood insurance, for our house, would cost twice as much as our homeowner's insurance. It would go from $1,000 a year up to $3,000 a year."
When he heard those numbers, Vaughn went into action, trying to find out how his house, which he says is in no danger whatsoever of flooding, could possibly have been listed in a flood zone.
What he found was a FEMA flood insurance rate map (FIRM), which defines the flood zones for the county, restricting where buildings can be erected and often tipping off mortgage companies to who may be in danger of flooding, and therefore in need of flood insurance.
"It's basically a security measure for FEMA," said Danielle Peck, assistant planner for Morgan County. "A lot of times people don't even know they're in a flood plain until they try to re-mortgage."
While alerting people who could be at flood risk may seem like a good idea, Vaughn says that, without an accurate map, it is an exercise in frustration for those who aren't really in danger.
"It's a very inaccurate and not a very useful map," he said. "I spent over $1,000 to hire a surveyor to prove to them [that I'm not in a flood zone]."
Momma! Why in the Sam Hill are you sittin’ here in the dark lookin’ like a big ole basket of doom? Let’s get crack-a-lackin’ with some of those super fantastic Morgan County Citizen Crazy Coupons of Coolness! That’s right honey! The Citizen Coupon Scooter is gonna take us for a local retail ride to Dealsville! Bada-bing baba-bong! Put on your helmet and let’s take off – take off retail prices that is! Right so I’m sure y’all saw the Crazy Coupon page in last week’s paper! Well honey now you can still get those Crazy Citizen Coupons any ding dang time you want at morgancountycitizen.com. Just click on the Crazy Coupon button on the right hand side of the webpage! Honey its clickity-clack-money-back-jack fun! Just click the coupon you want, print it and SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! I flat used three Crazy Coupons yesterday . . . one at Krystal, one at the Madison ChopHouse Grille and one at Amelia’s! Can’t wait to get my free guitar lesson, free yoga session, free fitness week and more! Yeah! Y’all check out these fab coupons right smack this instant! Don’t act the fool and throw good money after bad! Save big on restaurants, fitness, automotive, shops and more!
The Darkside. Yep! It’s gettin’ right chilly . . . in a menacin’ sort of way. People start to act dang strange when it comes to money . . . when it comes to winnin’. They fight! Lie! Cheat! Steal! You know I’m speakin’ the Gospel truth! But I ain’t never thought it’d come to this – to the Darkside! People! I’m talkin’ ‘bout this upcomin’ Madison Chili Cook-Off slated for Saturday, Oct. 3 at Town Park! I talkin’ teams are actin' all sly, tryin’ to steal recipes! They’re tryin’ to find the winnin’ formula! But one team has even resorted to flat out . . . dare I say it . . . BRIBERY! See this one team’s kinda scared of the 2008 Chili Cook Off Champions – Hot Off The Presses! That’d be ‘cause our chili rocks like Elvis in the Jailhouse! So anyway, this one team made an offer they thought we couldn’t refuse: “Don’t compete and we’ll advertise in the Citizen for six months.” Well I got me some news for you Hot Shot! Hot Off The Presses ain’t for sale! We’re gonna be there early on Oct. 3! We’re gonna be decked out! And, (cue up the soundtrack to The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.) We’re gonna cook you right outta Town – Town Park that is! Yeeehaw! Get your Team on y’all! Call Madison Main Street Director Ann Huff at the city at 706-342-1251 or go online at www.madisonga.com and click on Calendar to register your team. Whadda you waitin’ for? You scared? Think you can cook some Chili? Prove it!
Vampire Dairies. Episode 3. Scene 1 – Darkthirty. Momma and Biz Buzz are taking an after-supper power walk down Old Dixie Highway singing one of their favorite tunes. Off key.
Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care. Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care. Jimmy crack corn and I don’t . . .WHOA! Where in the Sam Hill did that teenager come from and why’s he wearin’ a black cape? Boy! Does your momma know you’re out here runnin’ round like a fool on a school night? Well bless his heart! He can’t talk, but he’s right good at hissin’! Plus he’s got ‘em some ugly, long fangish-lookin’ teeth! I reckon we got us one of them Hollywood vampires! It’s a good thing we ordered extra garlic on that yumalishous pizza at the fabulous Amici Italian Café, located at 113 South Main St., in Madison! Now where’d I put that wooden stake? Right! So all we’ve gotta do is give ‘em a great ole big whiff of garlic and flat plunge that stake! Easy peasy! Now if this don’t put us on the front page of the Citizen, I don’t know what will! Hells bells! We might even make it on Atlanta TV! We’re gonna be bona fied heroes! Book deals! Talk shows! We’ll get rich, rich, rich! You first Momma! Charge!
Scene 2 – Morning the next day. Momma and Biz Buzz are enjoying coffee on the front porch. A light rain is falling.
Help y’all! Somebody call the law! Momma’s flat havin’ her one of them conniption fits cleanin’ out the attic! Watch out! Stuff’s just a flyin’ every which way! Momma’s more excited than a hen on a hot griddle ‘cause she’s gettin’ ready for the Madison Moms Club’s big consignment sale: The Kids Clothesline Sept. 11 and 12 at the Morgan County Rec Department building next to the Morgan County High School on College Ave. Honey those ladies have been workin’ up a storm and will have some great, great deals on kids clothes up through size 14, indoor and outdoor toys, baby/kid gear, shoes and even house wares all in good or nearly new condition! Y’all had best check it all out ‘cause 30 percent of all the profits go toward improvin’ our local playgrounds! Ok so here’s the deal . . . there’s a sneak peak on Thursday night (Sept. 10) from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. you can pay $5 to get in and get first dibs on the deals! It’s open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday!
Put ‘em up. Put ‘em up! A little bird told me some Hollywood movie people are just a sniffin’ and a snoopin’ all ‘round town again which can only mean one thing: I’ll soon be DISCOVERED and get Rich, Rich, Rich I tell ya! Give me that Cowardly Lion outfit Momma ‘cause I’m gonna scare up a heapin’ helpin’ of bravado all ding dang day! I flat LOVE this lion suit’s tail! Yay! The stage at Town Park is just the thing for the scene! Perf! We’ve already attracted a crowd! Momma, you direct!
Momma: Sound check . . . one . . . two . . . three . . . Annnnnnd action! SNAP!
Cowardly Lion: What makes the world go round? Money. What makes a millionaire out of a clown? Money. What makes The Man throw ethics to the whirly winds or surgin’ seas? Money. Why do credit card companies charge so many fees? Money. What makes the reckless tear their 401Ks asunder? What makes the markets roar like THUNDER?! Money! What puts the “ought” in bought? What puts the have in a have-not? Whatta they got that I ain’t got?
Everybody in Morgan County: Money!
Cowardly Lion: You can say that again.
Talk ‘bout drama, Mamma! It was a hit! I’m like an A-One celebrity on the red carpet to Richville! Yeah! I’ll get me one ‘a them fancy-dance agents, but first I’d better invest in a little beauty action so my next close-up don’t break the camera in a million itty bitty pieces, which brings me to Biz Buzz News Flash! Come on y’all! Let’s go Spa Hoppin’!