Research conducted by a team of U.S. and U.K. scientists andengineers suggests that U.S. federal flood maps underestimate thenumber of Americans at risk for flood by more than 27 millionpeople.

|

Fathom, which presented its research at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Meeting on Dec. 11,claims its findings fill in "vast amounts of missing information"in current federal flood risk assessments.

|

Related: Understanding private flood insuranceoptions

|

The scientists produced a "redrawn" flood map of the U.S. basedon new technologies, simulating every river catchment area. Theirmapping project focuses on areas on river floodplains and areas atrisk of flash floods, and excludes areas at risk of coastalflooding.

|

One team researcher, Oliver Wing, Ph.D, of the University ofBristol, says Fathom's research estimates that 40 million Americanslive on the 1-in-100 year floodplain, as are $5.5 trillion worth ofassets, compared to the current FEMA flood map estimate of 13 million people. This 100-yearfloodplain area is recognized as a "high-risk" area, with 1% chanceof flooding each year, and is charted by FEMA on its official flood hazard map.

|

Related: The 21st Century Flood Reform Act: What's init?

|

In a conversation with the BBC, Wing said the biggest problem is howincomplete the community of river gauges is within the U.S., so heand his colleagues at Fathom created their flood maps based onyears of study on the way river systems behave, closing those datagaps on the probability of flooding.

|

Supporting Fathom's research claims, the Department of HomelandSecurity and the Office of the Inspector General released a reportaddressing the need for FEMA to improve management of its flood mappingprograms.

|

Related: FEMA publishes guidance for handling floodlosses

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free PropertyCasualty360 Digital Reader

  • All PropertyCasualty360.com news coverage, best practices, and in-depth analysis.
  • Educational webcasts, resources from industry leaders, and informative newsletters.
  • Other award-winning websites including BenefitsPRO.com and ThinkAdvisor.com.
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.