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After the Flood

The Challenge of Rebuilding as the Climate Changes

More than 8 million Americans live in high-risk flood areas, and the number is expected to climb sharply as the climate changes. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, ProPublica is investigating the government’s response to disasters, and how coastal communities build and rebuild despite the threat.

Sharpening the Government’s Blurry Maps

The Senate may soon vote on legislation that would require FEMA to prepare more accurate maps before flood insurance rates can be raised.

How Well Did FEMA's Maps Predict Sandy's Flooding?

When Superstorm Sandy struck New York and New Jersey last year, the accuracy of FEMA’s flood-risk maps for the area, used to help guide development and set flood insurance rates, varied widely. In some cases, the data behind the maps dated as far back to the 1970s. Click a county below to see more about FEMA’s data for that county.

Federal Flood Maps Left New York Unprepared for Sandy — and FEMA Knew It

The agency ignored state and city officials' appeals to update the maps with better data until it was too late.

What Happened After Congress Passed a Climate Change Law? Very Little

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has failed to set up a body that would make recommendations on how to deal with rising seas.

Using Outdated Data, FEMA Is Wrongly Placing Homeowners in Flood Zones

Homeowners have to bear the cost of fixing the agency's mistakes.

Why So Many Flood Maps Are Still Out of Date

A Q&A with Professor David Maidment on what makes today’s maps 10 times more accurate than the ones much of the country is still stuck with

Four Ways the Government Subsidizes Risky Coastal Rebuilding

Certain federal programs encourage developers to build and rebuild in areas that are increasingly vulnerable to flooding and hurricanes.

New Maps and a New Plan for New York

FEMA's released new, preliminary flood insurance maps for New York City, which specify how likely areas are to flood. The new maps, which replace maps that used data from 1983, double the number of structures in flood zones.

Without a Final Map, New York Rebuilds on Uncertain Ground

A 2012 law now puts over 67,000 New York City structures at risk of skyrocketing flood insurance rates. Can Bloomberg's ambitious plan save the city's coastal neighborhoods?

As Need for New Flood Maps Rises, Congress and Obama Cut Funding

Funding to update the nation’s decades-old flood maps has been cut in half in recent years, even as extreme weather has grown more frequent.

Interactive Map: See Where the Government is Lending after Sandy

See where the over 20,000 SBA rebuilding loans are, half of which fall in FEMA's new advisory flood zones.

After Sandy, Government Lends to Rebuild in Flood Zones

A ProPublica/WNYC analysis shows the federal government has approved $766 million to rebuild in areas prone to flooding.

How Disaster Aid Recipients Voted on Sandy Relief

Though the Sandy relief bill passed both the Senate and the House, many members of Congress voted no despite their own states receiving millions of dollars in federal disaster assistance in 2012.

Why 58 Representatives Who Voted for Hurricane Katrina Aid Voted Against Aid for Sandy

Bills that passed almost unanimously in 2005 have run into trouble this time around.

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