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      Chamber applauds changes to Flood Insurance Program

      Brant Branham, MBACC, addresses the issue of pool enclosures at a news conference Monday morning. / Joel Allen

      The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Monday applauded the US House of Representatives for passing a bill that includes a change to the law governing pool enclosures.

      Twenty-five hotels in the Myrtle Beach area currently convert their outdoor pools to indoor pools in the winter by enclosing them in glass. It's a practice that's been going on for decades. But two years ago, the Federal Emergency Management Agency decided it didn't like the idea.

      FEMA decided the practice is hazardous, apparently because glass walls could become projectiles in a hurricane. Hotel owners were concerned a ban on the enclosures would hurt their winter tourism business.

      The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce asked Congressman Jim Clyburn to write a law forcing a change. Legislation was written into the federal Flood Insurance Program, that will allow the pools to be enclosed.

      The bill passed the House. Now the Chamber is lobbying the Senate.