Co-author of Biggert-Waters meets with Plaquemines homeowners - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Co-author of Biggert-Waters meets with Plaquemines homeowners


BRAITHWAITE, La. - Traveling through parts of Plaquemines Parish Friday, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, met face-to-face with several homeowners who face steep flood insurance increases as a result of legislation she helped create.

"We just got quotes for insurance and it was over $10,000 and that's a piece of property that meets all the requirements," one man told her.

Waters, who co-authored the Biggert-Waters Act, tried to assure the homeowners that ultimately, Congress will delay the program for four years because of the numerous problems that she says must be corrected.

"We just believe that FEMA is not implementing the flood insurance program properly to begin with," Waters explained to several people at one of the stops. "We've got real questions about the mapping. We've got questions about the fact that areas don't get credit for the mitigation that they're doing and the levees."

Waters said a bill to block the soaring insurance premiums should be law by year's end.

For Kathy Gonzales, it can't happen soon enough.

Gonzales invited Waters to talk inside her trailer, which sits in front of her home that is still in disrepair after Hurricane Isaac's floodwaters.

"We're little by little putting the house back together, but I was waiting to see if the levees might get built and could I afford flood insurance, and I'm thinking now, as it is now, I probably can't unless something changes," Gonzales said. "This is where my family is. We've been here 35 years. We love the community. We love the people here and I just can't pack up and go."

Waters said the effort to make things right keeps building momentum. She says her new bill is backed by a bipartisan coalition of nearly 100 fellow members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

"I thought, this would be an excellent time to go to Plaquemines and help people understand what we're doing to correct what we consider the unintended consequences of the Biggert-Waters Act and how we intend to fix it," Waters said. "We're going to work it so that we makes sense out of it. We're going to work with FEMA to make sense out of their mapping and then we're going to put an advocate inside FEMA."

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