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FBI probing US emergency agency over claims of bad flood zoning, says report

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Shawn Perez / Flickr

An investigative report that was critical of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's remapping of numerous oceanfront properties has reportedly caught the attention of the FBI. That report from NBC News in February said FEMA knowingly remapped and downgraded more than 500 properties despite clear evidence those properties were in high risk flood zones. As a result, the zoning made it far less expensive for those property owners to pay for flood insurance, despite known risks. Citing sources, NBC News now says the FBI's spent the past 10 days interviewing FEMA employees as well as contractors about the program to see if there's been malfeasance.

In the danger zone

The reported investigation — which both the FBI and FEMA are not commenting on — comes on the heels of a new data program from the US government designed to track climate change and coastal flooding. That program is just a segment of, and combines data from a mix of government agencies and private companies including Google, Microsoft, Intel, NASA, NOAA, FEMA, and others. It also comes as FEMA's working on updated maps of high risk coastal areas that are set for a release sometime next year; the group's made draft versions available in the interim.