Don Cravins, chief of staff for U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, urged members of the House and Senate insurance committees today to make a consolidated effort to pressure Congress to do something to lessen skyrocketing flood insurance rates that will affect about 500,000 Louisiana homes and businesses who have federal flood insurance.

The rates through the National Flood Insurance Program will rise steeply for not only Louisiana residents but residents of every state as part of a bipartisan overhaul of the program passed by Congress last year designed to ease the federal government's costs.

According to data from NFIP, insurance claims nationwide for flooding damage totalled on average more than $3-billion annually from 2003 to 2012. In 2012, Louisiana had the most flood damage claims. New Jersey and New York followed.