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When it comes to storm damage, Los Angeles County may not be the first place that comes to mind. But according to a new study, the area’s “hundred-year” flood risk is far greater than what the federal government currently estimates — and a disproportionate danger for Black residents in certain key areas. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency considers a relatively small section of L.A. County to be at high risk of flooding. Researchers estimated that these tracts — mostly along the coast and around Lake Los Angeles — are home to just over 23,000 people. These zones would be especially vulnerable during a so-called “100-year flood” — an event with a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year. But while FEMA only bases its assessment on potential flooding along rivers and coasts, a team at the University of California, Irvine identified additional high-risk areas based on the flash flooding caused by rainfall. This inclusion, they argued, is crucial, as global warming will increase the volume of runoff, and there’s often insufficient drainage in urban areas. 

According to the resulting analysis, ... Read more

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