State lawmakers returned to Jackson last week for a four month session. During this time, hundreds of important bills will be debated and voted on. In our eyes, none is more important than making sure the state remains covered by FEMA's flood insurance program.
The federal agency has threatened to drop the state from coverage unless fishing and hunting camps are mandated to follow the same elevation guidelines that all other structures must adhere to. They are currently exempted under state law. That must change.
The hunting and fishing lobby will fight that change, because of the expense involved in elevating the hundreds of camps that dot the state. We sympathize with those concerns, but the state has no choice in the matter. FEMA has made that clear. Change the law, or else. Mississippi cannot afford to be dropped.
On the coast, we are subject to flooding from hurricane storm surges. Just last spring along the Mississippi River, homes flooded. Imagine not having flood insurance when that happens. The impact would be disastrous.
We wish there was room for compromise, but FEMA has apparently closed the door on that idea. So again, the law must be changed. If not, when the next flood hits, and it will, recovery will be next to impossible.
That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your comments below.
WLOX-TV General Manager
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