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New federal money to better predict more frequent floods caused by climate change

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
In 2013, downtown Grand Rapids was flooded. More sudden and intense storms caused by climate change are increasing the frequency of floods.

More federal money is going toward better predicting floods.

At one time, flood predictions were based on past experiences. Climate change has made that less reliable. How many 100 and 500 year floods have you heard about in the last 20 years?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is getting new funding to strengthen its ability to forecast floods, hurricanes, and tornados.

President Joe Biden signed a bi-partisan bill to establish a National Integrated Flood Information Service, an agency specifically assigned to predicting and warning people and governments about potential flooding.

It was included in a bill introduced by Michigan Democratic U.S. Senator Gary Peters called the Flood Level Observation, Operations, and Decision Support Act (FLOODS).

The bill calls for more partnerships between NOAA and colleges and universities to improve water level predictions.

It also assigns hydrologists to each National Weather Service River Forecast Center to help coordinate responses at the local and statewide levels as well as between the federal agencies responsible for water management.

Groups such as the National Flood Association, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, the National Wildlife Federation, and the American Association of Flood Plain Managers supported the passage of the Act.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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