Why governments miscalculate your risk of flooding

Flood maps are often out of date

Floodwaters in August surround a home in Spring, Texas. More than half the flooding that resulted from Hurricane Harvey took place outside known flood zones, a preliminary analysis shows. (David J. Phillip/Associated Press)

Think your home is safe from flooding? Unfortunately, you’re probably wrong. And the government’s estimates of your flood risk are likely wrong too, thanks in part to climate change and outdated flood maps that don’t take it into account, researchers say.

We’ve seen the extreme flooding in Texas following Hurricane Harvey — houses and semi-trucks half-submerged in swampy brown water, people paddling in boats or wading through rivers that were once streets.

A preliminary estimate of the flooding in Harris County in the Houston area by researchers at the University of California, Davis, suggests that more than half the flooding there happened outside any mapped flood zone. Read more

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Updated: 10/09/2017 — 05:48

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