NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Once again, the National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire, and members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation continue to push for a long-term reauthorization of the program.
Time is running out on the program as spring storms cause life-threatening flooding in some parts of the country.
Debbie Leckie took advantage of the dry conditions on Good Friday, a day after sporadic heavy rains moved through the New Orleans area.
"Congress needs to do their job,” she said during a break from yard work.
Leckie thinks the cost of flood insurance is too expensive in her neighborhood, especially after Hurricane Katrina.
"That along with property taxes makes it really almost, very difficult to afford anything here,” Leckie said.
The NFIP is set to expire May 31, and GOP House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana said efforts continue to end the short-term renewals of the program.
"We have been working trying to get a five-year reauthorization, that's the ultimate goal, is to get a flood insurance program that works for families, that works for taxpayers,” Scalise said.
The flood insurance program has been financially strapped for years.
"I've actually been working with the chair of the [House Financial Services] Committee, Maxine Walters. She has an interest in getting this resolved as well and we don't want to have to keep patching it every few months,” said Scalise.
Some in Congress think people living in areas with higher flood risks should pay more for coverage. But GNO Inc., and members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation say any reforms to the flood insurance program must keep rates affordable.
"Here in New Orleans, [Rep.] Cedric Richmond and I both have the same objectives and we're working together to try to get a long-term flood insurance program reauthorized,” Scalise stated.
Next year FEMA plans to implement its Risk-Rating 2.0 Program which is supposed to use sophisticated technology and even rainfall amounts to determine properties’ flood risk.
The rainfall component concerns some people living in southeast Louisiana.
“Our flood insurance and an area that's going to have a lot of rain they're going to increase it even more because we live in the Delta, we live near a river, we live in a humid area. It's going to rain, so I don't like that. I think everybody needs to pay a share, proportionate share no matter where you live” said Leckie.
And local communities have concerns that if flood insurance rates go up too high that could chase some people away.
"You want to make sure that people who play by the rules are able to continue to have a program that works for them,” said Scalise.