New Data Reveals Hidden Flood Risk Across America

New Data Reveals Hidden Flood Risk Across America

News Type: State, Regional, Federal Source: The New York Times
Click here to read the article: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/06/29/climate/hidden-flood-risk-maps.html

Across much of the United States, the flood risk is far greater than government estimates show, new calculations suggest, exposing millions of people to a hidden threat — and one that will only grow as climate change worsens.

That new calculation, which takes into account sea-level rise, rainfall and flooding along smaller creeks not mapped federally, estimates that 14.6 million properties are at risk from what experts call a 100-year flood, far more than the 8.7 million properties shown on federal government flood maps. A 100-year flood is one with a 1 percent chance of striking in any given year.

The federal government’s flood maps guide where and how to build, whether homeowners should buy flood insurance, and how much riskmortgage lenders take on. If the new estimates are broadly accurate, it would mean that homeowners, builders, banks, insurers and government officials nationwide have been making decisions with information that understates their true physical and financial risks.