Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 18, 2009

Red river refuses repeat performance

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on April 18, 2009

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports, “The National Weather Service reported Wednesday that a second crest of the Red appears to be unlikely, largely because rapidly thawing ground is soaking up water that would have fed the crest. While cities along the river in Minnesota and North Dakota withstood historic levels of flooding late last month, officials and emergency crews were bracing for a second crest that they feared would severely strain their flood protection. But the weather service said a combination of the thaw and scant precipitation had drastically reduced the threat of additional flooding in coming days.”

This is the time of year when FEMA often releases revised local flood zone maps.  In almost every case this effort at proactive mitigation is resisted.  So, for example, appeals and protests of FEMA flood maps are underway in Joliet, Illinois; Walla Walla, Washington; Marin County, California; and in many other locations.   Public engagement and  potential adjustment is a good thing.  Stubbornly denying or minimizing the risk is not.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

April 19, 2009 @ 10:34 am

The appeal process for NFIP maps is strictly governed by statute in the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended by the Flood Disaster Protection ACt of 1973, as amended (both codified at 42 US Code sections 4001 and following). The later statute was passed by Congress in conjunction with the Disaster Relief Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-288). Sadly that statute and the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as amended (Public Law 100-707) which amends in part, repeals in part, and supplements in part the 1974 should be administered to reinforce mitigation and the insurance mechanizm. It never has occurred and the culture of the mitigation/flood insurance program and free disaster relief have never been combned resulting in huge losses for the NFIP because it covers unmapped hazards like levee and dam failures, and rapidly increasing disaster relief outlays particularly in coastal areas where State and LOCAL governments continue to rely on and hope to distribute losses to the federal fisc. HEY, WAKE UP MOTHER NATURE DOES NOT GRANT VARIANCES!

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April 21, 2009 @ 7:06 am

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