The Hill: Natural Floods, Unnatural Disasters

by Erin Kesler

Yesterday, The Hill published an opinion piece by CPR scholars Christine Klein and Sandra Zellmer.

According to the piece:

President Obama recently signed a controversial bill that will directly affect the safety of millions of Americans. The fine print is so complicated, though, that it’s hard to predict exactly how our safety will be affected.

Some say that the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 brings desperately needed relief to property owners who face ruinous increases in their premiums for federal flood insurance. To supporters like Senator Schumer (D-N.Y.), the law preserves the American dream of homeownership from ill-conceived intervention by “an irrational Washington force.”

Others see the new law as election-year pandering and a cowardly reversal of course. Just two years ago, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 in direct response to catastrophic damage from Superstorm Sandy. The 2012 law prescribed strong medicine to salvage the solvency of the flood insurance program from a shortfall of some $25 billion caused by insurance payouts after Sandy and Hurricane Katrina. Before its rollback on Friday, the 2012 law would have quickly phased out federal subsidies until owners of flood-prone properties paid the true actuarial costs of their insurance.

To read the piece, "Natural Floods, Unnatural Disasters," click here.

Klein and Zellmer are the authors of the recently released, "Misssippi River Tragedies, A Century of Unnatural Disaster."

 



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