Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia

Rep. Bishop Votes to Strengthen Flood Insurance Program

Jul 12, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011.  The measure, which would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years and make several reforms to strengthen NFIP’s financial position, passed the House by a vote of 406 to 22.  Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) voted in favor of the bill.

“I proudly support this legislation,” said Rep. Bishop, “which will provide improved protection for our communities in the event of a flood.  In addition to many of my constituents, friends, and neighbors, I will always remember the devastating flooding in the Flint River Valley in 1994 and 1998.”

“No one was prepared for the ‘500-year’ floods that devastated Southwest Georgia in 1994 and 1998.  In 1994, the Flint River crested at more than forty-three feet in Albany, twenty-three square miles of Dougherty County were under water and 23,000 residents were forced to evacuate, and the community had an estimated $500 million in damages.  However, no loss was as great or as tragic as the twenty-eight members of our community who died as a result of the devastating waters.”

“In addition to reauthorizing the NFIP for five additional years, the legislation we passed today provides the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with greater flexibility to set premium rates.  The bill also provides improved protection for American taxpayers by requiring FEMA to use actuarial principles in determining full flood risk rates for certain properties and phases in changes to let policyholders and communities adjust.  Further, the bill authorizes studies to test alternative approaches to flood insurance that are sustainable and cost-effective.”

“This legislation has received support from both sides of the aisle, and I am pleased to do all I can to ensure that Southwest Georgia is protected should we ever be faced with a natural disaster similar to those of 1994 and 1998.”

The full bill can be found here.