Thursday, November 30, 2006

Flood Plain Means "Flood"

Another case of housing developers getting so greedy they're willing to put people's lives in danger just to make a buck.
I don't know the details of this story, but if you build a house in a watershed's flood plain, then sooner or later you will get flooded.
I witnessed this phenomenon a few years ago when a river in this region overflowed a lake spillway and washed out numerous homes downstream.
In one subdivision along the river where residents were scraping mud off the living room carpet, it was revealed that a developer back in the 1980s lobbied a legislator to help lower a FEMA flood plain map. A parcel of land that farmers remembered as a flood-prone property was zoned for residential development. The houses on the river side of the street have flooded every time the river rises out of its banks.
Older residents of the community in question remember the devastating nature of this river when it hits flood stage, and they live on nearby hilltops.
Yeah, go ahead and fudge the numbers on a FEMA flood plain map. Build your house one foot above the base flood elevation, and believe you are safe from raging floodwaters.
Be prepared, however, to watch your prized possessions (children?) wash away in the next 100- or 200-year flood.

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