(Orange, Texas)

September 25, 2013

County opposes Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Orange County Commissioners Court and the West Orange City Council approved a resolution urging amendments or revisions to the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

“This is causing problems already,” County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said during Commissioners Court on Monday. “This will price people and businesses out of the Gulf Coast area.”

Thibodeaux also said that Bridge City Mayor Kirk Roccaforte has been instrumental in the resolution request to redefine the FEMA Flood Maps.

The resolution reads “through the passage of the BW12 Act that was recently signed into law, the NFIP [National Flood Insurance Program] was revised such that the public's reliance on the program to provide affordable flood insurance protection for prior investments in their homes and businesses were essentially dissolved which means these structures will receive a 25% increase in the flood insurance premium for the next four (4) years (in some cases a 20% increase over five (5) years) and this passage substantially and immediately devalued the investments made in all properties receiving subsidized insurance premium rates through the drastic increase in the cost of flood insurance and all other properties in the area.”

The West Orange City Council said the matter was so important that they held their meeting Monday evening with the resolution as the sole item on the agenda.

“Many cities are adopting similar resolutions,” West Orange Mayor Roy McDonald said. “Rates will increase every year. The rates will be astronomical. The Act needs to be repealed.”

The city and county are requesting through the resolution  that all Texas Federal Legislators initiate efforts to amend or revise the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act to reduce the severe short term economic/financial impact on people and communities.

The item was also discussed during the city of Pinehurst and the Orange City Council meetings on Tuesday evening.

Congressman Steve Stockman introduced legislation Thursday reforming federal flood insurance programs and providing relief to Southeast Texas residents.

Stockman’s legislation has not yet been assigned a bill number.

The bill is named for Reps. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., and Maxine Waters, D-Calif., the chair and ranking member of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance.