**UPDATE** The 2014 Omnibus spending bill was approved by the U.S. House Wednesday. It averts a government shutdown and includes provisions for a delay in flood insurance hikes and funding to combat a citrus greening.
SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. - Relief is likely on the way for many of those who have been dealing with huge increases in flood insurance premiums. A spending bill is expected to pass the house and senate this week which would delay the hikes.
Imagine getting a notice that your flood insurance is going from around $1,000 a year to $6,000 and you need to fork it all over at once. That is/was happening to some right here in our community.
We've been following Englewood resident Laure Lewis through the process for the past couple of months. It was about to force her to use her life savings to pay. She even thought about selling her home but the declining value because of the costs was too much.
It's believed at least 30,000 other polices on the Suncoast were seeing huge increases too. Now those increases should be delayed for most policy holders in Florida and nationwide under the spending bill to the delight of many like Laure "It's been extremely bad on the health. I just didn't know which way I was going to go."
Insurance agents like Kevin Feuser with Brightway Insurance say they were working hard on finding solutions but this seem more reasonable at this time. "A lot of people went through a lot of work to try and make adjustments on this. Hopefully they come up with something better then what they had."
According to congressman Vern Buchanan's office the delay could impact more than just the 30,000 policy holders who saw huge increases this year. They say according to a FEMA it would affect roughly 80,000 out of the nearly 110.000 total policies in just in the 16th district.
Buchanan is hoping it will buy them time to get FEMA to conduct an affordability study.
Currently FEMA leaders say they are $24 million dollars in debt largely because of major storms and flooding in the past decade.