GIS Development magazine: "FEMA's official flood maps called obsolete"
October 24th, 2005 by Tom Johnson

This in from the Houston Chronicle via GIS Development online mag:

“FEMA's official flood maps called obsolete

“Official maps that are supposed to guide homeowners and communities on
areas prone to flooding are obsolete and unreliable, a federal
investigation found. Despite a multi-year modernization effort, 70
percent of the maps are more than 10 years old, the inspector general
for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concluded in a 63-page
report, which also found that many of the flood plains on the maps were
hand-drawn and are difficult to update. The criticism is the latest to
be leveled at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has been
widely blamed for mishandling the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

part of its management of the National Flood Insurance Program, FEMA
maintains more than 90,000 maps to show areas where flood insurance is
advisable and where construction would be risky. However, new
developments in flood zones have generally rendered the maps inaccurate
and obsolete. Faulty maps have a major impact on people and property
owners. Local communities rely on these maps to help them limit
construction within flood zones and to determine who can buy federal
flood insurance.

“The inspector general's report raises serious
questions about federal funding for the modernization effort, a $1.5
billion, six-year project that is intended to post accurate and easily
updated digital maps on the Internet by 2010. The program already is
behind schedule, and many state governments said that federal funding
is far short of what they need to provide correct mapping information.

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