Major flood events are becoming the new normal. In 2016, there were four inland floods causing at least $1 billion in damages each, double the average number of nontropical storm-related floods since 1980.
While the headlines around these events focus, understandably, on property damage and the impact on individuals and families, a big piece of the story — the escalating cost to the federal government — is often left untold.
With each flood, as victims piece their lives back together, millions of dollars in claims pour into the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides federally backed coverage to homeowners and small businesses in more than 22,000 communities across the United States. And millions more flow from federal agencies to repair roads and public buildings, rebuild damaged utilities, or provide temporary housing and other disaster assistance.