Progress is being made in efforts to update maps of flood plains in Wisconsin.
Project coordinator Amanda Schwoegler says the task is vital because many of the current maps are terribly out of date. Most were compiled in the 1970s and 80s, and she says the landscape in many areas has changed dramatically since then.
Schwoegler says the process involved working closely with counties and other local agencies to determine what development has taken place, and how it has changed the geography of an area.
The old maps have created problems for developers and property owners. She says many people are being forced to purchase flood insurance right now because of a flood plain designation. Meanwhile, many who need that coverage aren't required to purchase it because they aren't in an official flood plain.
Schwoegler says the process will also help make many communities much safer.
The DNR will be holding several open houses across the state this fall to display the updated flood plan maps. The work is expected to be completed in 2010.