St. Louis Public Radio News
11:34 am
Mon February 1, 2010

Durbin pushes for explanation on levee decertification

St. Louis – Illinois' senior senator is pushing for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to explain why it de-accredited levees in the Metro East.

"A lot of different units of government have come to me we disagree with their conclusion that these levees are dangerous," Durbin said. "I'm not an engineer; I can't answer that question, but FEMA has to sit down with these local units of government and go through this data and information."

The de-accreditation means many more homes and businesses may need to buy federal flood insurance. Durbin helped delay the implementation of new flood maps until next year, but called that a temporary fix.

"We're going to face a day of reckoning here where we either have to have the levees strong enough to protect us or insurance so people are covered, and that's what we're trying to do is avoid the added expense to homeowners," he said.

FEMA has said it based its decision on data from the Army Corps of Engineers but the agency has not revealed what in the data led it to its conclusion that the levees are not strong enough.