Taylor reminds Obama of South Mississippi's insurance crisis

By WLOX Staff

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Congressman Gene Taylor is taking on President Barack Obama once again for not answering the needs of the Katrina ravaged Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Taylor sent a letter to President Obama Monday, criticizing him not including a stop on the Mississippi Gulf Coast when he visits New Orleans Thursday.

Taylor detailed the damage Katrina did to South Mississippi, wiping out 65,000 homes and leaving homeowners who'd been told they didn't need flood insurance with little chance of rebuilding their lives.

Taylor also told the president America's largest insurance companies shifted their burden to taxpayers and the National Flood Insurance Program by not honoring homeowners' policies.

"The fact that without ever seeing the destruction here that he came out against our efforts to add wind and water, really made me angry," Taylor told WLOX News at Tuesday's Salute to the Military event in Biloxi.

Though the Obama administration has rejected Taylor's multi-perils insurance bill, Taylor is calling on the president to take another look.

"He will never fully grasp the need for it until he comes here," Taylor said. "So, again, we wrote him what we thought was a very good letter, six pages long, walking him through the issue. Sent him a copy of the great tape that was done by WLOX so he could see what this place looked like before the storm and what it looks like now, and hopefully his administration will give that issue a second thought."

Congressman Taylor's plan did get a boost Tuesday from Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel who sent out an email endorsing the insurance concept. That email also contained several sentences about the president's trip to New Orleans this Thursday.

"The problems that New Orleans faces are problems that are affecting the recovery of the entire Gulf Coast, and we would hope the president looks at the issues facing New Orleans as issues that continue to haunt the entire Katrina recovery region," Schloegel wrote.

The mayor pointed out that the eye of Katrina made a direct hit on South Mississippi.

"We feel confident the president understands that if New Orleans has yet to recover from its broken levees, then certainly we here at ground zero have not begun to reach the finish line."

Click here to read the full City Line email from Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel.

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