Several flood victims are saying that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) misled them into thinking levees along the Mississippi River would be sturdy enough to withstand a historic flood. On Thursday the town of Gulf Port, Illinois was submerged in 10 feet of water as the levee was breached and water poured into the town Only 28 of the 750 residents had flood insurance. Residents claimed that FEMA told them in 1999 that they did not have to be concerned about flooding. Now some policymakers are demanding the government come up with more accurate and up-to-date flood-risk assessments. They also want officials to better inform the public of the dangers and require nearly all homeowners to buy coverage if they live near dams or levees. Some FEMA floodplain maps are 20 years old and seriously outdated, based on old evaluations of levees and river conditions. The agency said it is up to Congress to decide whether everyone whose home could be engulfed from water by a breach of a levee or dam should be required to buy flood insurance.
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