The Wall Street Journal chronicles the financial drain on the federal flood insurance program caused by properties with repeating instances of flooding.
“We are seeing a very acute need to move far faster” on property buyouts, said Roy Wright, who directs the National Flood Insurance Program. “It’s a clear priority to address these multiple-loss properties.” In a buyout program, homes are typically razed and the land left as open space. Even before Harvey and Irma, the flood program owed the U.S. Treasury $24.6 billion, as payouts have exceeded the amount of insurance premiums it takes in. The program paid out more than $47 billion in insurance claims since 2000, according to government figures.