Flood plan could leave homeowners under water
BATON ROUGE - Congressional staff members met with Louisiana legislators today to discuss their strategies to curb rising flood insurance premiums before the Biggert-Waters Act takes effect.
The law was enacted to help bolster the National Flood Insurance Program, which isn't solvent following several national disasters. It intends to increase flood insurance premiums for some homeowners.
Lawmakers said the plan would increase rates astronomically, with some homes paying as much as $24,000 a year in flood premiums.
"This is the second worst that I've had, a $90,000 structure [would pay] $14,155," said Senator Ronnie Johns, from Lake Charles.
The rate spike would leave some in serious debt.
"If in five to ten years we'll be paying $10,000-15,000 in flood insurance there's no way we'll be able to live," said Cynthia Clouatre, who lives in a flood plain in Ascension Parish.
Clouatre wants national leaders to visit Louisiana and take a good look before deciding to keep the rate increase.
"Walk our ground, look at our flood plains, hold the dirt, don't just fly over us and say, 'oh this looks like this does this, oh this looks like this does that,' come here in the communities and see what's happening to the people," said Clouatre.
Now leaders are urging politicians to reach out to other states in hopes of curbing the rate increase before it's too late. They will also reach out to President Barack Obama in hopes of encouraging him to delay implementation, while a fix can be worked out.