Nearly half a million Missourians are vulnerable to damage from heavy rainfall and river flooding, according to a new report from the University of Bristol. That number is about 25 percent higher than estimates from previous models.
All told, the Bristol researchers estimate 41 million people in the U.S. are vulnerable to flood damage, nearly three times more than what the Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates.
The study, which analyzed risk for all of the U.S., compared to the 60 percent of the U.S. that FEMA analyses consider, said factors like climate change could contribute to a rise in the frequency of major flooding events.
David Stokes, executive director of the Great Rivers Habitat Alliance, noted that floodplains are often attractive areas for developers to build — even attracting government subsidies — despite the inherent flood risk they present.
Read more: St. Louis Public Radio