The U.S. Senate approved legislation this week that would spare many Rhode Island homeowners from sharp rate hikes in their federal flood insurance policies.

The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act was passed in response to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

The Biggert-Waters Act required the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to develop new rates for flood insurance premiums that more accurately reflect flood risk.

Courtesy: Sen. Jack Reed's Office

Rhode Island’s senators are applauding a 67- 32 vote passing legislation that delays a spike in flood insurance premiums. Sen. Jack Reed said the Senate took a positive, bi-partisan step, while Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse called the measure a necessary step to balance solvency of the federal flood insurance program with rate shock.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

The American Red Cross is scrambling to find housing for residents of two Cranston apartment buildings that were overwhelmed by flash floods Monday.   Some of the 60 affected residents lost everything.

Flood Awareness Week in Rhode Island

Mar 20, 2013
Catherine Welch; RIPR

This week is Flood Awareness Week.  The week is a partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, and encourages New England residents to be vigilant as we enter into our rainier seasons. 

This month marks the third anniversary of the major flooding that hit the Rhode Island, which resulted in damage statewide.

You can learn more about flood safety by visiting http://www.ready.gov/floods

Last call for SuperStorm Sandy aid

Feb 11, 2013
RIPR file

This Wednesday is the deadline for two forms of help for damage caused by Super Storm Sandy.   
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration are taking applications for aid and low-interest loans until midnight on the 13th.  

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Rhode Island’s congressional delegation says a little more than a million dollars in federal funding is on its way to buy property in Westerly. The plan is to turn land along Canal Street into open green space.

The $1.1 million in federal funding will go toward the purchase of five residences and three pieces of non-residential property on Canal Street in Westerly’s north end. The area floods often and was severely damaged during the big flood of 2010. The plan is to demolish the homes and turn the land into wetlands.  

(PROVIDENCE, RI) On Capitol Hill Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline says there should be majority support for a bill expected to hit the House floor Friday that helps victims of Hurricane Sandy. Cicilline says the $9-billion  package will provide help with flood insurance. It comes days after the Republican-controlled House scuttled a larger relief package approved by the Senate.  

Cicilline says it’s a shame the Senate’s 60 billion (B) dollar relief bill was blocked.