Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bill Attempts to Plug Holes in Flood Insurance Program

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bill Attempts to Plug Holes in Flood Insurance Program

Article excerpt

LEGISLATION NOW awaiting President Bill Clinton's signature would repair many flaws in the national flood insurance program with a hefty dose of prevention.

The changes reflect federal policymakers' recognition after last summer's flood that it may be wiser to change the behavior of people than to ask the rivers to change their behavior.

Among the changes:

Homeowners could buy an option to cover the cost of elevating their homes.

The deadline for buying coverage before a flood would increase to 30 days from five.

Money would be allocated to create computerized maps of the flood plain so those at risk could be readily identified.

Don Collins, of the Federal Insurance Administration, said the legislation will give his agency "a lot of latitude to do a lot of good."

Some bugs - particularly enforcement mechanisms - may have to be worked out, said analysts familiar with the legislation.

For example, property owners who transfer a home to someone without warning them of flood danger would be liable for any federal disaster assistance paid out if the home is damaged. …

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