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Severe Weather Forcing Home Insurance Rates Rising / National Guard Troops Helping Fight Wildfires

 (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Will Newton/Getty Images
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)

An increase in homeowner insurance rates becomes just the latest consequence of increased severe weather events / More than 450 national guard troops from across the country are helping fight Louisiana wildfires.

Severe Weather Forcing Home Insurance Rates Rising

An increase in homeowner insurance is just the latest consequence of severe weather in the region. These extreme weather events range from the flooding and storms of springtime to the extreme heat and drought conditions during these dog days of summer.
None of this is good news for many people who have seen their lives turned upside down because of damage to their homes. And now, home insurance rates have gone up in Texas --- in some cases by as much as 20- to 30 percent. According to a “nerd-wallet” analysis, the average cost of homeowners insurance in Texas comes to about 38-hundred dollars a year. Just for some context, this means Texas homeowners are paying 113 percent more than the national average.
East Texas insurance agent Donald Maguin tells KLTV there are strategies that may help lower a person’s tax burden: “another thing you can do is bundling your policies, as well. You can consider increased deductibles as well, and you know, raising those up would also lower those premiums.” And consider this: not all storm damage is covered. For example, most standard home insurance policies will cover everything except for flooding and earthquakes.

National Guard Troops Helping Fight Wildfires

More than 450 national guard soldiers from across the country have responded --- to help firefighting efforts in Louisiana. Governor John Bel Edwards announced there are now 50,000 acres of land burned by all these fires. Luke Hargrove is a chief warrant officer for the Tennessee Army National Guard. And Hargrove – a Blackhawk helicopter pilot – says there is a strong sense of duty to help all the people affected by the hundreds of fires in Louisiana this summer. Hargrove told KALB, “I don’t want to speak for everyone here, but we have the ability to help so we have the responsibility to help,” said CW3 Hargrove. “And we’ll try to do it until we run out of gas and then we’ll go refuel and we’ll do it again.”
The out-of-state national guard soldiers have come from states including Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Alabama to help stop the spread of these fires. Several of them have family ties in the region. Much of their efforts have been in the Alexandria and Pineville areas of central and southern Louisiana.


With the severe drought we have endured this summer, throughout the listening area – many people wonder how this will affect dove hunting season --- which gets underway on this Friday, September 1.
Some hunters feared the dry, tinderbox conditions of east Texas, along with north and central Louisiana – would leave fewer birds. But it turns out, the exact opposite is true. Game warden Tim Walker says the drought may help the hunters. Walker tells KTRE that doves live in trees and find diminished water sources, mostly lakes and ponds. This pattern leads to greater ease in finding doves. "This year, I’m told dove numbers are up 40 percent, and it’s extremely dry, water is going to be a big draw for our dove, and hunters will typically check around water anyway. But this year, it’s going to be a big draw for dove.”
With dove hunting season now underway, the east Texas game warden is reminding hunters to practice firearm and hunting safety rules and be properly licensed.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, and a graduate of the University of Washington, Jeff began his on-air broadcasting career 33 years ago in the Black Hills of South Dakota as a general assignment reporter.