President's Budget Cuts Flood Map Modernization Funds
The American Congress on Surveying and Mapping reports that President Bush's 2007 budget has proposed cutting funds for the Flood Map Modernization Fund. Under the modernization program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been eliminating paper maps and implementing a new, web-based mapping program. Such a system would allow the agency to reflect changes to the maps much more quickly and efficiently.
The modernization is scheduled for completion in 2010 but has recently come under fire for a lack of oversight and cooperation. Under the budget proposed by the White House, the Flood Map Modernization Fund would be cut by $1 million to $199 million.
Flood Insurance Rate Maps are published by FEMA and are used by local governments to identify flood prone areas and to set insurance rates for flood insurance policies. FEMA has an inventory of over 100,000 flood maps. However, many of the maps are badly outdated and do not reflect current conditions. For example, New Orleans' flood maps were last updated in 1984.