The Federal Emergency Management Agency had a spotlight put
on faulty flood maps that are costly some homeowners dearly.
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According to a report by NBC Today, tens of thousands of people across the nation were put in flood zones due to government errors that have forced homeowners to pay thousands of dollars for unnecessary insurance. Some of the FEMA-issued maps are decades out of date and are fraught with errors, such maps that show a brook is located near a home where none exists.
The budget for flood maps was cut in half in 2011, which has only compounded the problem, as some homeowners will have to continue to make unneeded insurance payments until Washington can find a solution.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York) said FEMA put hundreds of Long Island homeowners in high-risk flood zones based on inaccurate data from a different county in an effort to save money. Schumer told TODAY:
"People who knew they'd never be flooded were going to be charged $10,000, $15,000. These are middle-class, hard-working people. They'd not get a mortgage, lose their homes."
FEMA issued the following statement about the agency’s flood maps:
"FEMA administers the National Flood Insurance Program at the direction of Congress. In developing flood maps, FEMA works closely with communities at all steps of the process. When new preliminary maps are released, communities have the opportunity to review and appeal them before they ultimately adopt the maps. FEMA will always accept data from individuals and communities, as long as it meets established technical requirements. Annual requests for Letter of Map Amendments represent about 0.3% of all housing units in Special Flood Hazard Areas."