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TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (AP) — More than 17,000 North Carolina property owners with federal flood insurance face sharp premium increases as the government works to get the flood program back in the black.

And it’s causing worry in the small beach town of Topsail Beach between Wilmington and Jacksonville.

In a town with a year-round population of 368, an AP analysis shows 289 property owners face rate increases that could amount to thousands.

Mayor Howard Braxton says there will be hurt for people who have rented their modest beach bungalows to vacationers for years.

The mayor says the increases will be more than some mortgages and people who wanted to retire on the island will be forced either to sell or to continue renting their property.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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