"A new economy has arisen in the suburbs of Houston battered by storms: the buying and selling of flooded homes."
There are some pieces of land that should never be developed because of the risk of flooding, either on an annual basis or on a flood plain where floods recure on a somewhat repeating basis. This land is usually on a flat area where rivers rise over their banks, destroying buildings and infrastructures.
It makes no sense to me that people would even consider building homes and businesses in such a risky place, and also railroads and highways suffer damages from flooding waters. The Red River floods offer excellent examples of lands that floor on a regular basis. Red River Floods of 1950, 1997, 2009, 2011.
In the case of the Weather Service’s prediction of the Red River water cresting in 1997 at 51 feet, was an error. There should have been a margin of error calculation of +9 to -9 feet, meaning the river could have crested anywhere between 40 and 58 feet. As a result, the prediction was much too perfect. The engineers built levees to withstand a maximum of 51 feet of flood water, but that year the water crested at 54 feet, defying the Weather Service’s precise prediction.
Rivers running through narrow canyons also present risks.
Here is what FEMA has to say:
"Floods are one of the most common and costly natural disasters in the nation and can happen in any location at any time. Remember, just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. It is important for you to understand the flood risk to your property so that you can take steps now to keep your family, home, and workplace safe from harm."
"The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which currently provides policies for more than 5 million American homes, is $23 billion in debt following a string of major natural disasters over the last decades, including as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. Six U.S. states have experienced deadly flooding in the last 15 months, including Texas, South Carolina, and, most recently, Louisiana.
Scientists and policy experts warn that as seas continue to rise and extreme weather becomes more frequent as a result of climate change, more properties will flood more often, causing further strain on an already financially stressed system.
Even with flood insurance, the coverage does not cover all of the losses.
I don't know how others feel, but I do not want my tax dollars to be spent to keep rebuilding homes and businesses on high-risk land. If they want to live and work there, private insurance makes sense to me.
We've never understood that either. We, & our kids are all on high ground!