“The Way We Build Cities Is Making Them Flood
It sounds like a pretty safe assumption that the people who live in flood plains, or own businesses there, face the highest chances of flooding. This was certainly true during Superstorm Sandy in low-lying coastal areas at the mercy of storm surges. And the Federal Emergency Management Agency calculates flood risk this way all over the country, plotting properties against the geography of flood plains.
The zip codes shaded the darkest brown received the largest number of flood insurance claims between 2007 and 2011, from private insurance companies, the National Flood Insurance Program, or disaster relief assistance. Some of the zip codes with the most claims are in more densely populated parts of town. But they also sit nowhere near flood plains.”
Images: Top image of 2004 flooding in the Chicago suburb of Gurnee: John Gress/Reuters; Center for Neighborhood Technology