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WASHINGTON- Hundreds of thousands of homeowners facing higher federal flood insurance premiums under reforms passed last year would win a temporary one-year reprieve under a measure that's beginning its advance through the Senate.

The relief would go to homeowners in low-lying areas of Louisiana, Florida and other states where new government surveys could produce flood insurance premium increases so big that they might be no longer able to afford their homes.

At issue are homeowners whose flood insurance bills have historically been "grandfathered" at lower rates since they followed the rules in place at the time they bought or built their home. Under last year's bipartisan overhaul, many of these homeowners face higher premiums when new flood maps are issued.

A comparable measure has already passed the House.

ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press