New FEMA flood maps are full of errors

In 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency began a $200 million/year flood map project using mapping technology (GIS/GPS) to identify areas susceptible to flooding. The goal was to mitigate future catastrophes like the flood in Iowa, which caused $10 billion of damage.

But critics, including civic leaders, developers and home owners in several states, have complained that the new maps are riddled with inaccuracies, seem arbitrarily drawn, and will stifle growth and hurt property values…Doug Boyer, whose home would be in the flood plain for the first time if FEMA’s Oakville map gains final approval, said it’s inexplicable why FEMA extended the flood plain border to the center of Main Street in the relatively flat town. “The east side is in the flood plain and the west side is fine — it’s odd that the water will stop at Main Street.” FEMA flood maps are full of errors, cities say

Property owners naturally have a vested interest in what the new maps say. Nevertheless, it’s easy to sympathize with Boyers wonderment at why the water would stop at Main Street. This seems like a good argument for the incorporation of user-generated content in the production of maps, or what’s called Volunteered Geographic Information, as in a forthcoming issue of Geomatica.

3 thoughts on “New FEMA flood maps are full of errors

  1. the Director shall reimburse such individual or community
    Submitted by NOFLOOD on Thu, 03/25/2010 – 7:05pm.
    Fighting the new flood map? You may be entitled to Reimbursement of certain expenses US Code from Cornell University… TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 50 > SUBCHAPTER III > § 4104 § 4104. Flood elevation determinations (f) Reimbursement of certain expenses; appropriation authorization When, incident to any appeal under subsection (b) or (c) of this section, the owner or lessee of real property or the community, as the case may be, incurs expense in connection with the services of surveyors, engineers, or similar services, but not including legal services, in the effecting of an appeal which is successful in whole or part, the Director shall reimburse such individual or community to an extent measured by the ratio of the successful portion of the appeal as compared to the entire appeal and applying such ratio to the reasonable value of all such services, but no reimbursement shall be made by the Director in respect to any fee or expense payment, the payment of which was agreed to be contingent upon the result of the appeal. There is authorized to be appropriated for purposes of implementing this subsection, not to exceed $250,000.

    FEMA pay’s the insurance industry $ .71 cents of every dollar in premiums it collects.

    One Congressman called the NFIP “the worse federal program he has ever seen”.

    The NFIP has paid out only $11.6 billion dollars in claims since 1978.

    The NFIP owes the US Treasury 20 billion dollar.

    FEMA has been unwilling to correct bad data used in new flood maps. The NFIP puts the burden on the tax payers to correct bad data used for this new insurance maps.

    Let’s stop this waste.

    Let’s help balance the budget.

    Let’s cut this wasteful federal program.

    Tell your Congressman and Senators not to fund the NFIP.

    Stop the National Flood Insurance Program


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