WASHINGTON, D.C. – With more than 220 home, property, and business owners in Allen County potentially facing drastic increases in the price of their flood insurance, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded passage of a new bipartisan that would protect Ohioans from huge increases for their flood insurance premiums. Brown fought to pass the bipartisan Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which was passed by the Senate on March 13th and was signed into law by the President today.
“This law ensures that Allen County citizens no longer face the uncertainty of steep increases in their flood insurance policies or the devastating effect of having their property value decrease because of inaccurate mapping,” Brown said. “Ohioans who live in or near flood plains should not be forced to pay exorbitant premiums to protect their piece of the American dream.”
The new law delays the implementation of rate hikes until the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducts a robust study on the affordability of flood insurance as required by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 and implements new flood mapping technology. The new technology would utilize modern engineering and scientific approaches to determine levels of flood risk in regions participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Brown has been a staunch supporter of flood mitigation projects throughout Ohio. Earlier this month, Brown and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) joined Rep. Bob Latta (OH-5) to announce that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 2014 Work Plan includes $1.5 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Buffalo District to complete its Chief of Engineer’s Report on the Blanchard River Flood Risk Management Project (BRFRMP). That announcement was the culmination of a more than a yearlong effort by Brown, Portman, and Latta to ensure that the Blanchard River project receives the funding necessary for its completion.
Also in March, Brown announced more than $4.5 million in federal funds that will be used to control erosion and prevent flooding of the Smale Riverfront Park at the Cincinnati Riverfront. This additional funding supports the more than $2 million in federal resources that Brown announced in May 2011 that went toward bank stabilization and assisted in flood control efforts along the Ohio River.
In May 2013, Brown outlined how the critical Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) would make Ohio’s dams safer and protect Ohio communities. Of the more than 900 hazardous dams in Ohio, more than 400 are designated as “high-hazard”— dams that would cause significant loss of life and/or significant damage to surrounding properties if they failed—and more than 500 are designated as “significant-hazard”—those dams where failure or poor operation results in no probable loss of human life, but can cause economic loss, environmental damage, flooding of highways or railroads, or impact other concerns.