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Stronger Safer Florida Members Speak Out

Coalition Statement Regarding Speaker-designate Chris Sprowls’ Remarks on Flooding

“We commend Speaker-designate Chris Sprowls for addressing the critical need to mitigate the risk of flooding in our coastal communities during a speech that followed his election as Florida’s next House speaker last week. As a peninsula surrounded by rising sea levels, Florida is especially vulnerable to coastal flooding. During Hurricane Irma alone, storm surge affected 133,000 homes across the state.

As sea levels inch higher and higher, the frequency and cost of climate-related disasters grow. Florida must find ways to improve its climate resiliency, such as protecting natural flood plains, while equitably spreading the cost based upon the exposure of each community and property.

We encourage state and federal leaders to call for more accurate flood maps, as well as better models and assessment tools that estimate the impacts of climate-related events. Additionally, we should seek reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program that require it to charge risk-based rates and add more private-market flood insurance policies into the market.

As Speaker-designate Sprowls said last week, ‘we cannot afford to put our head in the sand’ when it comes to coastal flooding. We must take action to mitigate our risks and continue to export the financial risks of Florida’s hurricane and flood exposure to the global private markets.”

Michael Williams