A small company in California is hoping to make a big splash by providing detailed flood maps to homeowners and insurance companies. And to do that, the company is using one of the fastest supercomputers in the world.
The company is called Katrisk, based in Berkeley, Calif. Hydrologist and computer modeler Dag Lohmann is one of the company's founders. He says the flood maps the Federal Emergency Management Agency already produces will tell you how prone a particular area is to flooding.
Millions of American property owners get flood insurance from the federal government, and a lot of them get a hefty discount. But over the past decade, the government has paid out huge amounts of money after floods, and the flood insurance program is deeply in the red.
Congress tried to fix that in 2012 by passing a law to raise insurance premiums. Now that move has created such uproar among property owners that Congress is trying to make the law it passed disappear.
Louisiana delegation wants changes in FEMA flood maps they say could cause premiums to skyrocket.
Louisiana public officials are launching a bipartisan battle to revamp proposed changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. The administrator evaluating the objections was taken on a helicopter tour of coastal regions possibly facing steep premium hikes.
Louisianians may find solace from impending increases in flood insurance rates as Sen. Mary Landrieu’s bill to prevent those hikes heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration at its Thursday meeting.
The measures are included in the Homeland Security Appropriations bill for next fiscal year. Called the Strengthen, Modernize and Reform the National Flood Insurance Program, or SMART NFIP, the bill would postpone parts of last year’s Biggert-Waters Act.