Cedar Rapids Gazette: New Flood Plain Maps Coming Soon

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The 100 and 500 year flood maps currently used by FEMA, state agencies, and local governments are going to change.

Soon, there will be maps forecasting flood projections in 50, 10, even 2 year increments.

The Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa has just started a $10 million dollar project to develop
floodplain maps for the 85 counties declared federal disaster areas following the 2008 floods.

FEMA will use the new maps to generate flood insurance rate maps; the state will use them to regulate flood plains; and, homeowners and business owners will have greater access to the new maps, too.

“People who formerly were unaware of their status whether they were located in a flood plain or at risk of flooding will have that information available to them,” said Nathan Young, manager of the Iowa Floodplain Mapping Project. “We’ll be developing tools to distribute this information to them more effectively via the web and other avenues.”

Young said they will not only be mapping the flood plains, but analyzing flood risk well beyond those so that Iowans can be greater access their risk of being flooded over a period of ten years.

This project will take four years to complete.