Experts Say Flooding Terminology Misleads the Public - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

St. Louis, MO

Experts Say Flooding Terminology Misleads the Public

ST. LOUIS, MO - Several scientists say the use of terms like "100-year flood" should be re-evaluated because they can give the public a false sense of security.

Many people believe that a 100-year flood should happen once every 100 years.  But that's not how it works.

A 100-year flood is defined as a flood so big that it has a 1 percent chance of happening in any given year.

Rich Leonard with FEMA in Kansas City, Missouri, says it would be more accurate to refer to a "1 percent annual chance flood."

Those with questions about the frequency of flooding in parts of the Midwest wonder if more or different data should be collected to better educate the public about flooding risks.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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