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Reps. Kustoff, Blumenauer, McAdams, and Wagner Introduce Legislation to Prevent Repeated Community Flooding

February 6, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. David Kustoff (TN-08) joined Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Ben McAdams (D-UT), and Ann Wagner (R-MO) to introduce the Repeatedly Flooded Communities Preparation Act. This bipartisan legislation would strengthen protections for flood-prone communities like those in West Tennessee. The Repeatedly Flooded Communities Preparation Act takes steps to address the fiscally irresponsible cycle of repeated flooding and rebuilding of communities by taking proactive steps to reduce increasing flood risks with federal resources.

“The problem is simple: American taxpayers have been paying to rebuild properties that have been repeatedly flooded for decades. This legislation is an important step towards fixing this ongoing problem. If enacted, those in flood prone areas would have the right safeguards and preparations to protect their homes and communities from this continual damage, while ultimately, saving taxpayers money. This legislation is a win-win and I look forward to its passage,” said Rep. Kustoff.

Under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), properties that have been flooded multiple times are consistently rebuilt without any additional plans to mitigate future flooding. These repetitive loss properties make up just one percent of those covered by the program but result in up to 30 percent of all claims and have added up to more than $12 billion in costs to the federal government.  This bill incentivizes communities with a significant number of repetitive loss properties to proactively submit flood prevention plans to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a condition of their participation in the NFIP. Additionally, the bill sets deadlines for FEMA to develop criteria to govern these repeat loss plans and determine any appropriate sanctions for failure to act, requires FEMA to report to Congress every two years on implementation progress, and authorizes FEMA to target special assistance to communities working to address these repeatedly flooded areas.