28 million Americans live in flood zones and don't know it, study finds

Houston has learned the hard way time and again that the maps FEMA uses to set flood insurance rates are way out of whack with the reality on the ground.

Now, a scientific study in the journal Environmental Research Letters pinpoints just how much: 41 million Americans live in a 100-year flood zone - three times as many as the Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates. That means a full 28 million are outside the boundaries of the 100-year flood zone on current FEMA maps, but would be in it if FEMA used what the study argues is better data.    

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