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Mary Landrieu Pulls in $100M to Fix FEMA Flood Maps

As part of the continuing flood insurance fight, Mary Landrieu's office said Tuesday that the state's senior U.S. Senator followed through on a promise to keep funding in place that would fix inaccurate flood insurance maps. As part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's annual budget, FEMA will receive a total of $221 million for the flood map project.


FEMA-drawn flood maps determine a home's risk, with a home that sits in a higher risk zone likely to have higher premiums. Along with arguing against the changes to the National Flood Insurance Program that were brought by the Biggert-Waters Act (and later reversed in part), state and parish officials in coastal areas of South Louisiana have also argued that inaccurate maps are forcing some residents and businesses to overpay for flood insurance. FEMA has tacitly acknowledged the problem, launching a pilot program that will enable better mapping in St. Tammany, Plaquemines and three other parishes.


Using her influence as chair of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Landrieu secured $100 million to update the maps in the 2015 Homeland Security budget. As part of that funding, she overturned a proposed $11 million cut to the mapping program that was in the President's initial draft budget. Another $5 million was also added for mapping. FEMA already receives $121 million in fees for mapping, bringing the total appropriation to $221 million.


After an event with FEMA Associate Administrator David Miller last month, Landrieu said the mapping program would be fully funded.


"For the next three years I can assure you, there won't be any cuts to that program," said Landrieu. "We're going to have a full complement of funding."


She is also planning to hold a hearing in Washington, D.C., on July 23 with Miller to further address mapping issues.


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