WASHINGTON (May 21, 2020) – In light of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasting a 60 percent chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, Congress should revive efforts to rethink policies that encourage development in flood-prone regions, like the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
According to NOAA’s 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook , this year’s storm season is expected to produce between 13 and 19 named storms; six to 10 hurricanes; and three to six of them could become major hurricanes of Category 3 or greater. Though the Atlantic Hurricane Season does not officially begin until June 1, the year’s first tropical storm, Arthur, formed May 16 near the Bahamas.
“Between 2000 and 2016, the U.S. population in 100-year floodplains grew faster than outside those flood zones,” said R.J. Lehmann, senior fellow at the R Street Institute. “As we prepare for what is expected to be another above-average hurricane season, it is essential that Congress reform policies that encourage Americans to build in flood-prone and environmentally sensitive regions and address repetitive losses that have cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.”
In an R Street policy study  published earlier this year, Lehmann made the case for the NFIP to should cease writing coverage for new construction in 100-year floodplains and that NFIP rates for any new construction should be adjusted to reflect future changes in assessments of flood risk.
- “2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook”: https://www.noaa.gov/media-release/busy-atlantic-hurricane-season-predicted-for-2020
- “policy study”: https://www.rstreet.org/2020/02/20/do-no-harm-managing-retreat-by-ending-new-subsidies/