New flood maps released by a research and technology nonprofit show more homes in the United States are at risk of flooding than what’s reflected by the government’s flood risk maps.
The First Street Foundation’s flood model identifies 14.6 million properties that have substantial flood risk, which is 6 million, or 70%, more properties than classified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s map of special flood hazard zones, according to a press release from the nonprofit. More properties, including those in Eureka, Arcata and Fortuna, are going to be at increased risk of flooding over the course of the next 15 and 30 years, the maps show.
“This discrepancy exists because the Foundation uses current climate data, maps precipitation as a stand-alone risk, and includes areas that FEMA has not mapped,” the release states. “When adjusting for future environmental factors like changing sea levels, warming sea surface and atmospheric temperatures, and changing precipitation patterns, the Foundation’s model finds the number of properties with substantial risk grows to 16.2 million by the year 2050.”
Roughly 493 properties are already at risk in Eureka and 778, or 57.8% more and 7% of total properties, will be at risk within 30 years, according to the model.
In Arcata, approximately 641 properties are already at risk and 921 will be at risk within 30 years, representing a 43.7% increase and 18% of total properties, according to the model.