As the one year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey approaches this weekend, and as this week’s heavy rains cause flooding in Southern Wisconsin, we see once again that flooding is not just a problem for coastal communities–it’s a serious problem for inland communities as well.
The claim that the NFIP is a broken program that merely subsidizes the wealthy who choose to live on the coast is simplistic, false, and is the reason we find ourselves in our current flood insurance dilemma. The article from Vox (linked below) illustrates that more and more people are moving into floodplains, and they don’t even know it. Flood maps are outdated, development has paved over wetlands that would have allowed standing water to flow into the ground, and mitigation methods that can help to reduce vulnerability are not being used.
For sure, increased coastal flooding is a valid and serious concern, but at least coastal communities are aware of their risk and are taking steps to reduce their vulnerability. Inland communities are less responsive to flood hazards and are doing a poor job of keeping development out of flood prone areas. The Canyon Gate neighborhood in a Houston suburb was built inside a reservoir, and the homeowners had no idea.
Read the full article: