Study: FEMA’s Houston Flood Maps Outdated Long Before Harvey

HOUSTON (AP) — A study of part of southeast Houston suggests that the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood plain maps were woefully out-of-date long before Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas Gulf Coast.

Researchers at Rice University and Texas A&M University at Galveston studied one section of southeast Harris County, which includes Houston, over a decade-long period that did not include Hurricane Harvey, but did include storms from Hurricane Ike in 2008 and Tropical Storm Allison in 2001.

gettyimages 842306686 Study: FEMAs Houston Flood Maps Outdated Long Before Harvey

HOUSTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 03: LaMarcus McCray and Allan Sommer (L-R) push a boat through a flooded neighborhood as they help bring items out of a friends home. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

According to their research, FEMA’s flood plain maps for that area missed about 75 percent of the damages from Ike, Allison, and three other storms.

The maps are intended to predict which areas have a 1 percent chance in a given year of a major flood.

FEMA did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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