Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Donate
Topics

Congress must address costly flooding issues in advance

Because we know severe weather and flooding will strike again, Congress should address repeatedly flooded properties, discourage building in risky areas, and create a nationwide disclosure law so anyone buying or renting a new home is given the flood-risk information they deserve.

Our business, like many across Minnesota, has been hit hard by COVID-19. Supply lines cut, concerns for employee safety, and a declining end market means our future is uncertain. While the immediate threat of COVID-19 will pass, it’s a reminder of the devastating impact natural disasters have on our communities.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released its forecast indicating that 123 million Americans in 23 states, including Minnesota, could be impacted by spring flooding. Every year our state is faced with catastrophic floods that destroy businesses, public infrastructure, personal property, and in some cases cost lives. In fact, flooding is now the costliest and most common natural disaster we face.

Article continues after advertisement

With all natural disasters, planning and resilience are critical in mitigating the damage. FEMA has found that every $1 spent before a natural disaster saves $6 in recovery.

Because we know severe weather and flooding will strike again, Congress should address repeatedly flooded properties, discourage building in risky areas, and create a nationwide disclosure law so anyone buying or renting a new home is given the flood-risk information they deserve.

Minnesota’s entire congressional delegation should support these proposals, especially Reps. Dean Phillips, Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber, who hold relevant committee assignments. If they take action then businesses, homeowners, and local communities will be safer the next time flood waters rise.