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Climate Change Is Overwhelming US Flood Maps, FEMA Head Says

  • Study has found federal maps greatly underestimate flood risk
  • No timeline for safe water restoration in flood-hit Jackson
Vehicles travel on a bridge across the Pearl River during a water shortage in Jackson, Mississippi, on Sept. 1.

Vehicles travel on a bridge across the Pearl River during a water shortage in Jackson, Mississippi, on Sept. 1.

Photographer: Houston Cofield/Bloomberg

Flood maps used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency are out of date and understate the risks to homes and businesses from flooding and extreme rain triggered by climate change, FEMA Director Deanne Criswell said.

Those risks are in focus after flooding in Jackson, Mississippi, overwhelmed the city’s main water treatment plant a week ago, leaving more than 150,000 state-capital region residents without safe water. Criswell said there’s no timeline for restoring service.