NEW ORLEANS - Six parish presidents cheered the passage of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, designed to stop massive flood insurance rate hikes, and pointed out that Louisiana leaders sounded the alarm nationwide.
"A little group started by a handful of parish presidents from South Louisiana has grown to over 35 states, 250 organizations, said St. Charles parish President V.J. St. Pierre.
"Our residents could not afford the additional increases in flood insurance," said St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom. "It couldn't have been done without this group."
"I just couldn't imagine our government allowing this to happen to us," said Bill Bubrig.
Bubrig was one of the homeowners who had been warned to expect a massive jump in the flood insurance premium for his Plaquemines Parish home, from $600 a year to over $15,000.
"I couldn't have sold it, it was a problem," said Bubrig. "I don't know what I would have done, to be honest with you. It is easy to say I would have gone uninsured. Well, that's almost not an option where we live."
Bubrig says stopping the huge rate hikes saved his, and many other homes.
"Great news for the whole community, great news for the whole region, the United States."
Of course, stopping the rate increases was just the first step. Now the coalition is focusing on the long term solution to keep the flood insurance program from going in the red when there are disasters, and that, organizers say, could take years.
"We're going to begin to look at the long term solutions for flood insurance, which could range from bringing the private market back to bear all the way to a national catastrophic policy," explained GNO Inc. President Michael Hecht.
"I can stay where I live," summed up Bill Bubrig, "I can stay where I want to be."