State delegation agrees on flood bill

Bipartisan U.S. House passage of a five-year renewal and reform of the Federal Flood Insurance Program last week attracted a too-rare consensus of Mississippi’s four-member delegation, and we hope that means favorable Senate action before the latest temporary extension in effect expires Sept. 30.

The bill, H.R. 5114, captured 76 percent of the votes Thursday, including 85 Republicans, almost half the GOP membership. The lone GOP House member from Mississippi, Gregg Harper, Pearl, voted for the bill with Democratic Reps. Travis Childers, Booneville; Gene Taylor, Bay St. Louis; and Bennie Thompson, Bolton.

The Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act of 2010 would increase the maximum available flood coverage for nonresidential properties to $670,000. It also would prohibit the “Write Your Own” insurance companies that contract with NFIP from excluding coverage of wind damage under their own policies solely because flooding also caused damage to the property.

Rep. Gene Taylor, a longtime advocate of expanding the NFIP to include wind coverage, offered the amendment to ensure its availability.

Hattiesburg American