Floodplain Maps Don’t Always Reflect FEMA Standards

Unless a levee is certified to FEMA standards, floodplain maps are drawn as if it doesn't exist.

In an article on the Star Tribune website, Jim Anderson and Chris Havens say several Minnesota communities are going through levee certification as flood plain maps that determine who needs flood insurance are revised. FEMA’s certification process is the result of hurricane Katrina, where the levees failed.

Flood protection is not necessarily inadequate just because FEMA hasn't certified a levee, said Rick Larkin, St. Paul's director of emergency management. The reverse is also true. Uncertified emergency levees have given people a false sense of security, according to Ceil Strauss of the state Department of Natural Resources. Some are erected with materials that would never meet FEMA standards.

During the certification process portions of levees in Mankato and North Mankato will meet FEMA standards, but others will need upgrades, says the article.

To read the article, click here: