FEMA’s Flood Maps Are Not a Scam

On May 3rd, this article ran in the Hamilton Journal-News.

Hamilton fights federal government on flood hazard area

AFFECTED PROPERTIES Most of the properties affected are west of where Two Mile Creek passes under Cleveland Avenue and east of Haverhill Drive.

Long and short is, local business owner Mike Day was quoted as saying, “It just seems to be one more government-intrusive cost that I would have to end up paying because someone deems it necessary, that has probably never stepped foot on this street.” 1

The quote bothered me enough, that I posted it on Facebook leading to some commentary.



The important point is that when Day says, “So what rules for flood plains have changed to make them deem it a flood plain now, versus 50 years ago?” it ignores the reality on the ground. In the last 25 years, Main north of the Two Mile has been completely built out, mostly strip commercial. That adds an insane amount of impervious surface with no mitigation. If memory serves, there are several large diameter stormwater drains that empty into the Two-Mile, greatly changing both the surface flow and subsurface hydrology. It makes me wonder if anyone quoted in the article have ever stepped foot on Main Street.

Well, it escalated quickly, and here’s a photo from this afternoon, three blocks away. I imagine that closer to the water, as Day’s business is, is worse.

It's four feet of water in some places (Butler County Sheriff's Office)
It’s four feet of water in some places (Butler County Sheriff’s Office)

Image stolen from Anchorman.

  1. Full disclosure: I spent some years in Hamilton, Ohio, and am pretty sure Mike Day was a member of my high school class.