A new analysis of flooding risk that accounts for the effects of climate change finds many more homes in Appalachian communities in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia are at risk of flooding than the federal government’s emergency managers have indicated.
In 12 Appalachian counties in the region, at least half of all residences are at risk, and in West Virginia one in five homes carry a high risk of flooding, according to an analysis of the data released by the nonprofit First Street Foundation.
“In Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio — especially the Appalachian region — that risk has not been tracked properly,” said Jeremy Porter, head of research and development at First Street Foundation. Porter said the findings have implications for whether homeowners are properly insured against the risk of flooding damage. “People are not protected against the current climate environment.”