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National Flood Insurance Program

Congress has passed two spending bills to fund the federal government. President Donald Trump is expected to sign them, avoiding a shutdown.

One provision in those bills is a reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. With the president's approval, the program will be extended through Sept. 30, 2020.

In his new book, "The Geography of Risk: Epic Storms, Rising Seas, and the Cost of America's Coast," Pulitzer-prize winning author Gilbert Gaul takes a look at the U.S. history of coastal development since World War II - and finds a recipe for disaster.

Floridians have another year of reprieve before they face a likely hike in their flood insurance premiums, thanks to political pressure from Congress over a potentially drastic revamp to the National Flood Insurance Program.

When Arthur Mosely moved to East Austin in the 1980s he didn't worry about flooding. His property was not in a designated floodplain, and he thought of the creek that ran behind the house as an amenity. It guaranteed privacy and a green space full of muscadine grapes and pecan trees.

But over the years more houses went up and the creek flooded repeatedly, almost reaching his house twice. "All of this was water," he explains on a recent windy morning, gesturing to a wide swath of his backyard.

Federal weather forecasters are predicting a "near normal" number of storms this hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 1.

Between nine and 15 named storms, including includes tropical storms, are predicted to form in the Atlantic this year, said Neil Jacobs, acting administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

At the end of September, the National Flood Insurance Program will expire unless Congress acts to re-authorize its funding. Many in the real estate and insurance industries say they're cautiously optimistic the federal flood insurance subsidy will be kept in place, but there’s no guarantee amid the chaotic climate in Washington. 

It’s that time of year again, the Atlantic hurricane season is upon us. This week on Florida Matters we’re taking a look at how various areas of the state are preparing for hurricane season, and at some new changes in storm response efforts.


Flooding in Key West Caused by Hurricane Wilma
Marc Averette / Wikipedia Commons

Anywhere it rains, it can flood.

That was a warning from Pinellas County’s Floodplain Management Program, which is working to keep county residents informed about the dangers of flooding.