John Oliver Says Floods Are the ‘Despacito’ of Natural Disasters

2 minute read

“Floods were everywhere this summer,” explains John Oliver on Sunday night’s episode of Last Week Tonight. “Think of them as the ‘Despacito’ of natural disasters — persistent, ubiquitous, and no fault of the Puerto Rican government.”

Flooding hit Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico and many other locations around the U.S. this year alone, and floods are only going to get worse in the coming years due to climate change, according to Oliver.

While floods are considered natural disasters, some of the damage they do is within humans’ control and our love of living near the seashore and in the path of flooding. People choose to live next to the water despite the risks that, according to Oliver, include “flooding or stepping on pointy sea shells, or mistakenly giving a Tostito to a seagull without realizing that means you’ll spend the rest of your life haunted by a Tostito-addicted seagull.”

Most homeowners, especially those who purchased their homes with federal home loans, are insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but the program needs serious revamping, according to Oliver. Floods hit the same areas so often that the federal government ends up repairing the same homes over and over again.

Some of those so-called “repetitive lost properties” are the second homes of wealthy homeowners featured on reality television shows like Buying the Beach. However, according to Oliver most of the NFIP’s are people who truly need assistance. The NFIP is up for re-authorization next December and Oliver makes a good case for taking the opportunity to rethink how the program works. He also makes a good case for never giving a Tostito to a “flying beach rat.”

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