Today, in reaction to the continuing harm and destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, made the following statement:
“The devastation from Hurricane Harvey is overwhelming and my heart goes out to those affected by this terrible storm. Harvey continues to dump unprecedented amounts of rain on Texas. Make no mistake, the flooding taking place now is both historic and unpredictable. The Army Corps of Engineers now estimates that it has the potential to be a 1,000-year flood, meaning there was only a 0.1% chance that flooding of this magnitude would occur, and sadly it means that many of the impacted homes and businesses will lack flood insurance. While Harvey may have been difficult to see coming, we have indeed seen similar tragedy. After trillions of gallons of rain fell in Baton Rouge last year in another 1,000-year event – with three times as much rain as Hurricane Katrina – only a small fraction of residents were considered to be in a flood zone and therefore many had not purchased flood insurance. That is why it is so important that we continue to fight against proposals like President Trump’s budget plan to slash funding for FEMA’s already underfunded and outdated flood mapping.
“It is clear that the state of Texas is facing a long recovery from this storm and although with better technology we could have perhaps helped more families and businesses financially prepare for the storm by purchasing flood insurance, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will still play a critical role in that recovery. When Congress returns to session in September we must pass a bipartisan reauthorization of the NFIP. This disaster yet again makes clear that Americans need access to affordable flood insurance, and I am committed to ensuring that the program remains affordable and accessible to all.”