SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (WTEN) — At the end of the month, the National Flood Insurance Program’s authorization will expire if Congress doesn’t act.
Lawmakers are hoping to extend it and make reforms, especially as hurricane season continues.
From the Stockade neighborhood in Schenectady, to houses near Lake Ontario, the concern for flooding for some in Upstate New York is real.
“Every spring there is a fear of flooding. We watch the ice jams, hold our breath and hope that this time it will not happen,” Mary D’Alessandro, a Stockade Neighborhood resident, said.
Senator Chuck Schumer says that in New York State alone, there are about 300,000 National Flood Insurance Program policy holders. On September 30th, the program’s clock will run out.
“We’re here to do two things, first to say it cannot expire. We want to get it done in the next three weeks. But, it cannot expire,” Sen. Schumer said.
He says secondly, it needs to be reformed and made more affordable.
Among other reforms a re-authorization bill would extend the program for 5 years. It would also put a nine percent cap on premiums for policy holders.
“We certainly have a good chance of renewing it, because it we didn’t renew it everything would come to a standstill and property values would plummet, but I think we have a pretty good chance of getting our bill done.”
Schumer says the bill would also provide more accurate mapping of flood risk areas.
D’Alessandro says her flood insurance cost is currently about $5,000.