Recent Congressional Research Service report (50 pp.): Flood Resilience and Risk Reduction; Federal Assistance and Programs
FEMA has radically underestimated how vulnerable Americans are to flooding
Research claims that official estimates lowballed the risk by, uh, about a factor of three.
From the Washington Times. The Impacts and Costs of Flooding.
From Government Technology: Ellicott City Is Hoping DHS’ Flood Apex Program Is a Match Made in Heaven. After two devastating floods in two years, the new technology can’t be deployed quickly enough.
Update: link was fixed.
Historic town suffered it second 1,000 year flood in two years. See: Do You return After Another 1000 year Flood? Some excerpts from the article about the rebuilding efforts there for the past two years:
Funding for water infrastructure programs finally did come through, just three weeks ago, with a little more than $1 million for flood-mitigation in Ellicott City from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
But that will barely get the front-end loaders cranking on a project that’s a $10 million event — for openers.
The planning folks warned everyone this would happen. They issued a 2014 report that detailed what needed to be done to tame those raging waters. And nothing happened. Then, after the 2016 flood, the report was rebooted last June as the “Ellicott City Hydrology/Hydraulic Study and Concept Mitigation Analysis. Conclusion: “The nature and scope of such improvements is significant in scope, impact and cost. It will require a long term planning and implementation effort.”
There has to be a better way to rebuild. Any suggestions from readers?
A new study has revealed for the first time the last 500-year flood history of the Mississippi River. It shows a dramatic rise in the size and frequency of extreme floods in the past century—mostly due to projects to straighten, channelize, and bound the river with artificial levees. The new research also uncovered a clear pattern over the centuries linking flooding on the Mississippi with natural fluctuations of Pacific and Atlantic Ocean water temperatures.
From HSNewswire: Flood risk denial in U.S. coastal communities
Rising sea levels have worsened the destruction that routine tidal flooding causes in the nation’s coastal communities. On the U.S. mainland, communities in Louisiana, Florida and Maryland are most at risk. Stemming the loss of life and property is a complex problem. Elected officials can enact policies to try to lessen the damage of future flooding. Engineers can retrofit vulnerable buildings. But, in the face of a rising tide, changing hearts and minds might be the most formidable obstacle to decreasing the damage done by flooding.
From Prevention Web, some case studies done by Rice University: Case studies in floodplain buyouts: Looking to best practices to drive the conversation in the Houston region
From the Homeland Security Newswire: Flood risk for Americans is greatly underestimated,
A new study has found that forty-one million Americans are at risk from flooding rivers, which is more than three times the current estimate—based on regulatory flood maps—of thirteen million people. The study is based on a new high-resolution model that maps flood risk across the entire continental United States, whereas the existing regulatory flood maps produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) cover about 60 percent of the continental United States. Avoiding future losses is particularly important as average flood losses in the United States have increased steadily to nearly $10 billion annually.
Here is another take on the topic from Vox: We’ve radically underestimated how vulnerable Americans are to flooding. New research claims that official estimates lowballed the risk by, uh, about a factor of three.