(NEWSER– FEMA is constantly putting out new flood maps for different parts of the country, which seems like a good thing. Except for this: A ProPublica investigation finds that the maps are often based on outdated information, resulting in huge headaches for homeowners whose insurance premiums are based on them. Countless cases reveal two big themes:

  • The maps put homeowners in flood zones that aren't actually flood zones. One homeowner in Texas discovered she was in a "special flood hazard area" even though she lives atop a hill. After a long fight, she got FEMA to admit the mistake.
  • Maybe worse, some homeowners who do live in flood zones don't know it. North Dakota, for example, is about to get "updated" maps, but those maps won't reflect data from the biggest floods in state history—in 1997, 2009, and 2011.

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