US: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released updated preliminary floodplain maps that predict increased flooding in coastal areas during northeasters, gales and other strong storms. The maps are the first significant update since the mapping programme began in the 1980s and are expected to directly affect federal flood insurance premiums for towns and counties, as well as mortgage programs for some homeowners, once they are made final sometime late this year.
The maps demarcate flood hazard areas in Dukes County, and predict increased flooding for coastal, lakeside and river areas due to all-new modeling and more stringent criteria.
The new maps are created using LiDAR data, which was added to the 2010 map edition and is collected from an airplane, and all-new base flood elevation modeling. The Strategic Alliance for Risk Reduction (STARR), contracted by FEMA, measured the topography across 64.2 square miles of Dukes County coastline in 2011 and developed the maps using high-tech modeling. LiDAR technology stands for Light Detection and Ranging. It is a remote sensing tool that emits and reflects laser light off a target area on land to calculate elevation.
Source: MV Gazette