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Flood policies plunge in Houston in 5 years before Harvey

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In this photo provided by Jiles Daniels, his flooded home near Cleveland, Texas, northeast of Houston. Daniels, a retired oil company manager, never w...
In this photo taken July 15, 2017, FEMA Administrator Brock Long speaks in Providence, R.I. Houston’s population is growing quickly, but when Harvey h...
FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2017 aerial file photo, a neighborhood near Addicks Reservoir are flooded by rain from Harvey, in Houston. Houston’s populatio...

In this photo provided by Jiles Daniels, his flooded home near Cleveland, Texas, northeast of Houston. Daniels, a retired oil company manager, never w...

In this photo taken July 15, 2017, FEMA Administrator Brock Long speaks in Providence, R.I. Houston’s population is growing quickly, but when Harvey h...

FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2017 aerial file photo, a neighborhood near Addicks Reservoir are flooded by rain from Harvey, in Houston. Houston’s populatio...

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Associated Press investigation shows that 9 percent fewer homes and other properties in the Houston area had flood insurance when Harvey hit the city compared to five years ago.

The sharp fall in coverage came despite a growing population. The drop means many residents fleeing Harvey's floodwaters have no financial backup to fix up their homes and will have to draw on savings or borrow — or perhaps be forced to sell.

The AP's review of Federal Emergency Management Agency data shows that Houston's Harris County had 25,000 fewer flood-insured properties in June than it did in 2012.

A former head of the flood insurance program called the drop "unbelievable." Robert Hunter says FEMA, the agency overseeing the program, should have taken action years ago.


Updated : 2021-07-25 22:05 GMT+08:00