Pathologies of the National Flood Insurance Program 1

In the midst of what looks to be an active hurricane season, Congress is set to vote on a measure that would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which expires on September 30th. For these reasons, now is a good time for a refresher on NFIP, with all of its problems.

With the reauthorization vote on the horizon, I wrote a short piece, published at The Washington Post, which lays out in short form some of the key problems with NFIP, and how the NFIP actually exacerbates flood risk. You can read the piece here.

In a companion piece published a few months ago in LSE’s US Centre blog on American Politics and Policy, I explain how the politics of the program make it very difficult to reform. You can read this article here.

If you’re really interested, you can read the long-form academic article I wrote on this topic:
Strother, Logan. “The National Flood Insurance Program: A Case Study in Policy Failure, Reform, and Retrenchment.” Policy Studies Journal. Early access: DOI: 10.1111/psj.12189

Reading Around the Internet: Missouri Floods

As most of my readers know, it rained and rained in central Missouri, and that led to many floods. Here in Cape, the river crested Saturday at 45.99 feet. This is a few feet below the prediction and below the historical crests in 1993 and 2016. Still, here are some photos I took around town on Saturday morning. They’ll give you a sense of what we saw here — and also why we’re very grateful for our flood wall. My home, my part of town, and the university are all on high ground, so I’m safe from the waters. But as a river watcher, I watch these floods and always worry for all the others.

The Southeast Missourian has some great photos and videos of the flood, and I’ve also posted photos on Twitter (@ljh1969).

In other parts of Missouri, the flooding caused catastrophic amounts of damage in small towns. Both Doniphan and Van Buren, Missouri, for example, sustained a tremendous amount of damage as huge amounts of water careened down the Current River. Ky3 also posted this drone footage of the damage along the Current River in Carter County. Meanwhile, the St. Louis area also suffered from high water. Here are some photos from the CBS St. Louis. As in 2016, the Meramec River was over its banks. The best coverage of that part of the flood, hands down, cam from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

As Weather.com explains, waters rose to well above record levels there and in other parts of central Missouri. Record breaking rainfalls were largely to blame. We, however, were not alone. Arkansas and Oklahoma, as well as southern Illinois and parts of Kentucky also suffered from record high water.

I’ll be thinking, praying for, and doing what little I can to help the flood victims here as we recover from yet another major flood. Should you be one of those victims and live here in Missouri, here’s a link to Missouri’s SEMA Assistance Resources page. There’s information there about where to locate assistance as you work through the recovery process.