Grover Fugate, executive director of the Coastal Resources Management Council, believes not.
says outmoded methods were used to produce the maps and claims FEMA did not follow the letter of the law in developing the maps.
has called on FEMA
to review the process.
So far he
hasn't gotten an answer to his
request that goes back to last summer.
believes some coastal areas would be far more severely affected than the maps indicate, while some bay areas may actually be better off than what the maps have forecast.
review, however, most sections of Warwick would be harder hit than the maps suggest.
is sympathetic to the issue and suggests the state and municipalities could help by providing tax credits for efforts to mitigate floods.
Essentially, this would consist of elevating housing, which he
says would have the effect of reducing insurance premiums while stimulating the economy by creating construction jobs.
Tax credits, he
said, would provide an incentive.
But Fugate's basic concern is that the FEMA maps released within the last six months were modeled on assumptions that weren't reflective of conditions.
said methodology from the 1970s was used in generating the maps when FEMA
used systems developed in the 1990s to draw maps for other parts of the country.
In many cases the maps underestimate the impact of storms.
said calculations are that dunes along beaches in Washington County could break wave action when in reality some of those dunes have already been swept away.
said experience has shown dunes believed to offer a protective barrier disappeared within two hours of a storm like Super Sandy.
believes the maps would have been more accurate had they been based on flood elevations reached during the 1938 hurricane that swept Conimicut and Riverview houses into the bay and inundated most of Oakland Beach.
suggested the storm surge of 1938 should have been used in modeling for potential impacts of today.
In an Aug. 26, 2013 letter to FEMA acting regional director Paul Ford, Fugate expressed his concern with the models used for the preliminary flood insurance rate maps for Rhode Island.