GeoCarta Has Moved

Sep 7, 2005

Update On Katrina

Echoing a question I asked the other day, Forbes Magazine has an story on the outdated flood maps for New Orleans. The article states, "...many home owners may have wound up in harm's way because outdated government maps didn't indicate they were in a flood zone." As I showed in my previous post, people living in New Orleans proper would definitely have known they were in a flood zone. However, the magazine raises the valid issue of people living in suburban areas. FEMA is incredibly slow about updating their flood maps to reflect new development. According to the magazine, about 75% of the nation's flood maps are outdated. FEMA's flood map modernization is supposed to be completed by 2010. However, the project is behind schedule.

While improving safety, more modern maps may likely make rebuilding along the gulf more expensive. Often where they are updated, the flood maps have higher flood elevations. This means the building elevation must be elevated, resulting in greater construction costs.

Edited to add: I see that Cartography came upon the Forbes article before I did. You might want to check it out.

Not wanting to spend my time duplicating the good work of others, I have not even tried to compile a list of online maps of Katrina's damage. The Map Room is a excellent resource for that. Another good resource is Cartography.

Lastly, station WCCO has a story about two guys from Austin, Texas that have created an online map which allows the victims of the hurricane to share information. Though I read the story twice, I could never find the web address.

Edited 09.08.05: The link to the map mentioned above is: Thanks to Larry Eamigh for pointing it out to me.