Houston FEMA flood map missed 75 percent of flood damages, says new study

Fernando Ramirez:

FEMA’s 100-year flood plain map doesn’t have the best reputation in Bayou City – just ask any Houstonian whose home was outside the flood risk zone yet still filled with water during one if the city’s many and recent flooding events.

Still, a new study by Rice University and Texas A&M-Galveston suggests FEMA’s hazard mapping may be even less accurate than most people think.

Researchers examined flood damage claims from several southeast Houston suburbs between 1999 to 2009 and found that FEMA’s flood predictive maps failed to show 75 percent of flood damage.

“The takeaway from this study, which was borne out in Harvey, is that many losses occur in areas outside FEMA’s 100-year flood plain,” said study co-author Antonia Sebastian in a prepared statement.