"America Underwater"

"Extreme floods expose the flaws in FEMA’s risk maps"

"This year, extreme precipitation deluged communities across the United States — a hallmark risk of a warming climate. Government flood-insurance maps often left residents unprepared for the threat.

A Washington Post analysis of videos taken by people who endured destruction from flooding pinpoints how federal maps are failing to reflect the growing peril that Americans face.

On July 26, Brandon Jones’s St. Louis home was hit by major flooding for the second time since 2008, when he moved in. Cars were barely visible under several feet of turgid storm water, as record rainfall fell on the city.

“Oh, my God,” Jones said in a video he posted to Facebook. “I’m stuck and can’t even go nowhere.”

Two days later, the area flooded all over again. ...

A Washington Post investigation uncovered communities throughout the country where FEMA’s maps are failing to warn Americans about flood risk. As climate change accelerates, it is increasing types of flooding that the maps aren’t built to include. The resulting picture leaves homeowners, prospective buyers, renters and cities in the dark about the potential dangers they face, which insurance they should buy and what kinds of development should be restricted."

Samuel Oakford, John Muyskens, Sarah Cahlan, and Joyce Sohyun Lee report for the Washington Post December 6, 2022.


Source: Washington Post, 12/12/2022