When a snowstorm closed airports across the northeast last week, two congressmen stranded in Texas devised a creative travel scheme, opting for a cross-country road trip to D.C. instead of waiting for airports to reopen. While their adventure received significant attention, the subject of natural disasters was also receiving attention in several congressional hearings. In the House and Senate, hearings focused specifically on flood insurance, and members of the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee of House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing to discuss the future of the National Preparedness System (NPS).
Ninety percent of natural disasters in the United States involve a flood. Want to check if your home’s location is in a high-risk flood zone? Thanks to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you can. NFIP, which is operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), identifies and maps flood risks, provides flood insurance for 5.1 million policyholders, and runs programs to incentivize flood risk reduction.
With a dramatic reversal of environmental concerns on the West Coast from drought to flooding this winter, members of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee held a timely hearing to discuss flood insurance reform, specifically the reauthorization and reformation of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is due for reauthorization this fall. Flooding is the most frequent and expensive disaster in the U.S., and a delay in reauthorizing NFIP could disrupt property sales in high-risk areas where flood insurance is required.
When the 1,000-year-flood event hit south Louisiana last month, an estimated 60,000 structures were damaged, including those both inside and outside of the flood zone. In a hearing last week, Representative John Mica (FL-07) noted that 80 percent of homeowners did not have flood insurance because, based on maps produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), they were not in areas that were considered vulnerable to flooding. These floodmaps are in urgent need of updating and were the focus of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing to review the recommendations of the Technical Mapping Advisory Council’s (TMAC) 2015 Annual Report for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Strolling down a beach with sand dunes on one side and the ocean on the other or navigating your motorboat through a harbor probably don’t make you think of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). However, USACE’s many duties include designing and carrying out projects for ecosystem restoration, flood control, and coastal navigation, making it the biggest water resources development and management agency in the federal government.
The storm with no name that hit south Louisiana from 8 to 14 August was a 1,000-year-storm event (one that has a 0.1 percent chance of happening in any given year). The tropical weather...
Damages from extreme events like floods are even more relevant than the mean sea level itself when it comes to the costs of climate impacts for coastal regions. However, while it is now rather well understood how sea-levels will rise in the future, only small progress has been made estimating how the implied damage for cities at the coasts will increase during the next decades.
People living behind levees on floodplains may not be as immune to flood damage as they think, according to results of a study led by the University of California, Davis. (From Science Daily) —...