Image Reveals the Consequence of Louisiana's Flooding

A historic flood damaged at least 40,000 homes across southern Louisiana over the weekend — and for those without flood insurance, the road to recovery could take a lot longer.

This aerial photo of Hammond, Louisiana, reveals the extent of the coverage problem.


It's uncertain how many homes affected by flooding are currently insured, but only 20 percent of homes in Louisiana are covered, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. If you apply that statistic to the homes pictured above, only six of the 30 buildings have flood insurance.

Heavy rains have taken a serious toll on the state this year, with the latest bout of flooding responsible for widespread property damage and at least 10 deaths, the Associated Press reported.

Many mortgage lenders require homebuyers to purchase flood insurance in high-risk areas. But this storm also struck cities that are generally considered safe from flooding.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards promised residents living in uninsured homes that some state funds would be made available for recovery. But, he emphasized: "It is limited, and it is not automatic." For homes in the 12 parishes deemed "major disaster areas" by the federal government, FEMA will provide up to $33,000 in federal money per home for basic repairs and to replace certain items exempted from insurance coverage, The Times-Picayune reported.

Louisiana has one of the highest rates of flood insurance in the U.S.: There are more than 450,000 flood insurance policyholders in the state, more than in any other state except Florida and Texas. But owners of the majority of homes affected by the current flooding will nevertheless probably have to pay out of pocket for recovery costs.

The storm should serve as a warning to residents, Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon told The Times-Picayune:

"These events are showing repeatedly how uninsured we are. [Flood insurance] is the best insurance investment you can make anywhere in the state. It truly is."

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