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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Friday, June 03, 2005
The Rains Are Blamed for Lame Insane House Placement
Rain-Filled Winter Blamed for Laguna Beach Landslide

Sometimes bad things happen to me. Sometimes those bad things are very expensive. At those times, I'd love to get everyone else to pick up the tab for my misfortune, but how?

Well, here's an inspiring example. A bunch of beautiful homes in Laguna Beach just slid down the canyon in which they were built, and the owners are trying to see if FEMA will pay for the damages.

The soil gave way near the site of an even more devastating 1978 slide, which destroyed 24 homes. Like that disaster, this one left behind a surreal landscape: houses, cars and streets that had been tilted and buckled, collapsed and smashed, with residents left to stare numbly from a distance.

It also appeared to validate the warnings of geologists, some of whom had questioned the wisdom of building in the canyon. And it raised questions about the safety of other hillside communities in Southern California in the aftermath of the near-record rainfall.
So there was a slide in the 70s in the same area in which homes were lost, and there were geologists who didn't think that it was a safe spot to build. So why is this a possible federal disaster that involves FEMA? Because it might be due to weather. See, they didn't anticipate that it might rain a lot during the winter. So, the "Rain-Filled Winter" is blamed. I don't remember any typhoons ripping the houses from their foundations, but I guess if the rain did it, then we all have to pay. I'm going to build my dream palace on a rickety cliff overhanging boiling pits of lava. I'm not buying insurance either.
It's that same logic that makes flood insurance so daggone expensive - all those folks that build along the hurricane coast, and the rest of us pay for their hubris.

Birdwoman: Yeah, but if flood insurance is sold by a private company you would thing the hurricane coast homeowners would be charged higher rates to compensate for their higher risk, so you wouldn't really be penalized for their hubris. On the other hand, if flood insurance is a government program, who knows how it works?
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