Understanding Uncertainty in Floodplain Mapping Procedures

Understanding Uncertainty in Floodplain Mapping Procedures

June 26, 2018

True flood protection requires increased awareness about flood risk and transparency about flood risk uncertainty in our maps.

In this MooreWISE brief, Nick Irza explains some of the common uncertainties surrounding traditional floodplain maps. 

"Recent extreme flooding events have highlighted the limitations of what is currently known and expressed on nationwide FEMA floodplain maps. These maps are used to determine building codes, site development, set flood insurance rates, and are the primary source of information about residential flood risk, but, like most engineering estimates, include uncertainty that must be acknowledged to fully understand flood risk. The danger of flood maps is that they can create a false sense of security when they are accepted as the “hard and fast” rule instead of a guideline."

Read Moore.