New Flood Maps Add 26000 Maine Properties As Potentially At Risk

James Marshall
July 3, 2020

The New York Times reports First Street Foundation created its own flood model "using federal elevation and rainfall data, and coastal flooding estimates from hurricanes". Head here to check out the risk at your address or another property. According to Michael Grimm, the assistant administrator for risk management for the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, who testified before the House Science Committee in February, flooding is now the most common and costly natural disaster in the USA, causing some $155 billion in property damages in the last decade. Most claims came out of Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex, Union and Essex counties.

The group finds that there are some 26,000 additional properties in ME at substantial risk of flooding over the next three decades that are not included in FEMA maps. "We know there is no ideal science to predicting flooding", a spokeswoman told the Times.

Over the past two decades, just over 45,000 CT property owners have filed claims for flood damage through the National Flood Insurance Program or the Individual Assistance Program, about a third of them in the wake of 2012's Hurricane Sandy.

The states that show the greatest difference between the First Street Foundation Flood Model estimates and FEMA's designation include Washington D.C. (438 percent), Utah (419 percent), Wyoming (325 percent), Montana (311 percent), and Idaho (290 percent).

'This concept used to work, but with a changing environment it's a poor assumption and no longer does.

FEMA told the Times that the First Street data complements its efforts.

The complete study of Decorah properties can be found here. As far as metropolitan areas are concerned, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, New York City, and Cape Coral, Fla., show the greatest number of properties at substantial risk.

At the state level, Florida, Texas, California, New York and Pennsylvania have the most to lose.

FEMA has also listed Florida and Texas at the top, but with significantly fewer properties estimated to be at risk.

Jun. 30-More than 46,000 CT properties are greater risk of flooding than current federal estimates suggest, according to a new study, with Bridgeport having the largest number of exposed properties statewide at more than 5,800 in all, and Old Greenwich and Cos Cob having the highest proportion of any neighborhood at more than 30 percent of homes combined.

Its study-released on Monday-says 36 percent of the properties in Decorah have a chance of being flooded in the next 30 years. It's much higher in places like Louisiana and Florida, which are on the front lines of climate change.

One of the failures of FEMA is its lack of coverage for inland cities, such as Chicago.

Nationwide, the average increase is almost 11 percent.

And about 95 percent of the town's residents are African-American.

FEMA's maps do not list any of the properties in the 100-year floodplain, while First Street says about one-third are in danger.

"I think the issues raised about the inadequacy of the FEMA maps is accurate", stated Jim O'Donnell, a University of Connecticut professor and executive director of the Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation research center, in an email response to a query about Connecticut's risks.

First Street's map shows more than 42 percent of properties on the floodplain, while FEMA's calculation is just 6.5 percent.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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