The river crested ten feet too late and because of that, there’d be no saving the house. FEMA had designated the land between the river and the house a “Zone A” with “No Base Flood Elevations Determined” which meant that, in the grand plan of putting houses where people wanted them but not necessarily where nature would tolerate them, it was legal from the County’s perspective to build. “Go ahead,” said the surveyor. “Godspeed,” said the county clerk. “At home on the banks of a lazy river,” said the realtor. From an insurance perspective, though, no BFE meant no coverage which meant no claim which meant that the new carpeting Chubs just laid, the pots and pans from the wedding registry, and even Grandma Bea’s ottoman, the same one Jackie used to sit on as a kid when she’d listen to the Tigers’ game on the radio and have her grandmother draw out the plays on a napkin, were nothing more than memories floating downriver waiting to be collected by scavengers and scrapped for drug money.
That is, after the damn water receded.