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Houston and Flood Insurance


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#1 stocks

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 01:34 PM

Storms are natural events, but floods are usually man-made disasters.  

 

That’s because flood damage depends not only on how much water is involved, but on how many people and structures are in its path and how prior human intervention had affected that path. Government policies affect all three of those variables, which is one reason why “500-year floods”—which are supposed to have a 1-in-500 chance of occurring in a particular place in a particular year—are becoming so common. 

 

Experts believe the main culprit is the explosive growth of low-lying riverine and coastal development, which has had the double effect of increasing floods (by replacing prairies and other natural sponges that hold water with pavement that deflects water) while moving more property into the path of those floods.

 

An investigation last year by ProPublica and the Texas Tribune found that the Houston area’s impervious surfaces increased by 25 percent from 1996 to 2011, as thousands of new homes were built around its bayous. Houston is renowned for its anything-goes zoning rules, but the feds have also promoted those trends by providing extremely cheap insurance in high-risk areas. 

 

In 2012 Congress passed a rare bipartisan reform bill that would have jacked up flood insurance premiums to some semblance of actuarially sound levels within a few years. But after an uproar from coastal and riverfront communities, Congress reversed itself in equally bipartisan fashion in 2014, so most premiums will rise much more gradually, and won’t reflect actual risks for as long as two decades. 

 

 

 http://www.politico....shington-215549

 

 


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#2 diogenes227

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 04:48 PM

Interesting. 

 

Once again that's income inequality on display. 

 

Poor folk may live in low-lying areas, conned into homes on flood planes by the lack of government zoning regulations, and they probably can't afford federal flood insurance so they lose everything when the time comes.  It is the affluent who live along coasts, rivers and lake sides and won't let public officials lift their insurance rates, like try to increase taxes.


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#3 Rogerdodger

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 06:00 PM

I think we just need Washington to FORCE Insurance companies to sell a Pre-Exixting flood insurance policy.

Then, when the "Too Big To Fail"  Insurance companies go broke, the government will just bail them out, as they do the banks!

 

It's Utopia all over the place, all over again.

 

http://www.usdebtclock.org/



#4 diogenes227

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 07:01 PM

I think we just need Washington to FORCE Insurance companies to sell a Pre-Exixting flood insurance policy.

Then, when the "Too Big To Fail"  Insurance companies go broke, the government will just bail them out, as they do the banks!

 

It's Utopia all over the place, all over again.

 

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

 

We have already bailed them out.

 

There is federal flood insurance as an option only because the insurance companies will not insure against floods. 

 

And we surely don't need to FORCE insurance companies to take a profit margin for all the times there is no flood when - you're right - they'll are going to lay it back on the taxpayers when there is.  You probably should be arguing to eliminate the federal insurance.  That way when some rich guy builds a mansion on a coastline and when a wave washes it away, he can pay to rebuilt it himself.  Federal flood insurance, under the guise of protecting the little guys, is mostly another sop to the big guys.

 

You ask me I don't even think Houston should be rebuilt.  It is too flat there.  It is flooded more than any other major city in the country.  Those two dams they talk about are two the six most dangerous dams in America because no one will raise taxes to take care of infrastructure.  Move Houston inland, to Lubbock, or north...to, say, Tulsa.  In fact, scrap the entire Texas coast.  Leave it to oil barons and petrochemical polluters and let them pay every time the climate change they deny comes to call.


Edited by diogenes227, 29 August 2017 - 07:04 PM.

"If you've heard this story before, don't stop me because I'd like to hear it again," Groucho Marx.

I spent half my money on gambling, alcohol and wild women. The other half I wasted, W.C. Fields.

#5 Rogerdodger

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 09:18 PM

Sorry, but Tulsa itself was at the bottom of the sea until global warming lowered the sea levels.



#6 MaryAM

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 03:56 PM

When I moved to Maine about 5 years ago - the one criteria I had was to be at a minimum of 300 feet msl.  I am only about a mile from the Kennebec but straight up hill - which is very tidal - and I am about 100 miles from the coast.  Yes it floods but it does not reach me.  I just have to drive east to get food rather than west across the river.  And yes it floods big time.  The first year I was here, the grocery store area to the west was under about 3 feet of water in the parking lot when the Kennebec went out of its banks.  Floods can happen almost anywhere - but building a major city that is at or below sea level is just plain stupid.  I can understand that work years ago was usually found near navigable waters - and much work still is - however, I doubt that most of Houston works in fields that require access to the water.   What I can't imagine is what happened

to the quality of their drinking water - reservoirs and even wells - are probably contaminated with god only knows what at this point.  It might not be the flood that kills people, but their water.