FEMA and the Corps Have Taken Steps to Establish a Task Force, but FEMA Has Not Assessed the Costs of Collecting and Reporting All Levee-Related Concerns

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Recent catastrophic flooding in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee caused levee breaches and forced mandatory evacuations; while record flooding along the Mississippi and lower Ohio River valleys prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to rupture the Bird's Point-New Madrid Levee, resulting in the flooding of more than 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland. The destruction is estimated to have caused hundreds of millions in property damages. These events underscore the importance of the nation's levee system and the role federal agencies play in assessing levee integrity ... continued below

Creation Information

United States. Government Accountability Office. July 29, 2011.

Context

This text is part of the collection entitled: Government Accountability Office Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this text can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this text or its content.

Provided By

UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Serving as both a federal and a state depository library, the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department maintains millions of items in a variety of formats. The department is a member of the FDLP Content Partnerships Program and an Affiliated Archive of the National Archives.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this text. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Recent catastrophic flooding in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee caused levee breaches and forced mandatory evacuations; while record flooding along the Mississippi and lower Ohio River valleys prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to rupture the Bird's Point-New Madrid Levee, resulting in the flooding of more than 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland. The destruction is estimated to have caused hundreds of millions in property damages. These events underscore the importance of the nation's levee system and the role federal agencies play in assessing levee integrity and assisting communities in the aftermath of levee failure. Levees are found in approximately 22 percent of U.S. counties, where almost half of the U.S. population resides and are, for the most part, owned and maintained by the locality in which they are located. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is responsible for mapping flood-prone areas across the country and issuing levee accreditations for the purposes of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Under the NFIP regulations, FEMA requires that levee owners or community officials seeking to demonstrate the flood protection provided by a levee submit an engineering certification indicating that the levee complies with certain criteria. Flood insurance purchase is mandatory for all federally backed mortgages for properties FEMA designates as being located in a special flood hazard area, which are those areas that have an estimated 1 percent annual chance of flooding. If a levee receives accreditation from FEMA, homeowners who reside in the area protected by the levee are not subjected to the federal requirement to purchase flood insurance, but still retain the option to purchase flood insurance. Based upon the estimated flood risk reflected in FEMA's maps, FEMA makes flood insurance available to property owners in the 21,361 communities that participate in the NFIP. The Corps is responsible for much of the federal construction of flood control and storm protection infrastructure. As the result of its Map Modernization effort that began in fiscal year 2003, FEMA began an intensive remapping effort of its map inventory, including areas that contain levees. This remapping effort required communities and levee owners to validate that they met FEMA's accreditation requirements. While these requirements have been in place since 1968, levee owners have expressed difficulty in obtaining and paying for accreditation or re-accreditation and communities have communicated concerns to FEMA about the levee accreditation process. Language in the Senate committee report accompanying the the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010 directed FEMA to establish an interagency task force with the Corps and OMB, to track, address and, where possible, resolve concerns stemming from FEMA mapping efforts in communities with issues related to flood control infrastructure, including levees. In its quarterly reports to Congress, FEMA has not included all the information the Senate committee report directed it to, such as a comprehensive list of all concerns that communities raised to FEMA. As result, we were unable to assess the number and status of responses to issues communities submitted to the task force. In response, we reviewed (1) the progress FEMA has made in creating an interagency task force to track, address, and resolve concerns stemming from FEMA mapping efforts in communities with issues related to flood control infrastructures; and (2) the extent to which FEMA has the capabilities to collect and report information on community mapping concerns related to flood control infrastructures as directed."

Subjects

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this text in the Digital Library or other systems.

Collections

This text is part of the following collection of related materials.

Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

What responsibilities do I have when using this text?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this text.

Creation Date

  • July 29, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this text last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 0
Total Uses: 5

Where

Geographical information about where this text originated or about its content.

Place Name

Publication Place

Map Information

  • map marker Automatically generated Place Name coordinates.
  • map marker Automatically generated Publication Place coordinates.
  • Repositioning map may be required for optimal printing.

Mapped Locations

Interact With This Text

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Citations, Rights, Re-Use

United States. Government Accountability Office. FEMA and the Corps Have Taken Steps to Establish a Task Force, but FEMA Has Not Assessed the Costs of Collecting and Reporting All Levee-Related Concerns, text, July 29, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298624/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.