(Florida Keys Keynoter) Florida Keys homeowners expressed confusion and frustration at a Tuesday flood-insurance forum convened by the Key West Association of Realtors to discuss newly implemented changes to the National Flood Insurance Program that are making premium rates skyrocket.

Carl Stevens, an attorney, moved to Ashby Street in Key West from California last year. He said he paid $425,000 cash for his house, which he has since mortgaged, and that last year his flood insurance rate was $2,400 annually. With the new increase, he’s looking at a $20,000 annual bill.

“It took everything I had to move here,” Stevens said. “I really don’t know what’s next. This has been a really emotional issue and I’m trying not to panic.”

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