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Levees Still Pending IBWC Accreditation

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UPDATE (8/16): Some levees in Cameron County are still pending accreditation by the International Boundary and Water Commission. 

CHANNEL 5 NEWS learned the Federal Emergency Management Agency used existing data instead of conducting a completely new analysis. Since the levees are only certified and not IBWC accredited, it would negatively impact mapping results and insurance rates for the community. 

"Because otherwise, we would not be able to accredit that levee, we would not be able to show it was providing protection so the flood zones behind it on the maps would be much more extensive than they would be once the levee is completed," says Larry Voice, civil engineer for FEMA Region 6. 

It's unclear how much longer it will be until the pending ones are fully accredited. 

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BROWNSVILLE – Some residents in Brownsville saw an increase in their flood insurance premiums this year.

We learned a misalignment in the flood maps is to blame.

The new rates went into effect in Cameron County on February as a result of a study completed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A shift from paper maps to digital caused the misalignment, the agency says. 

“We did have an issue with that. The flood zones on many of the resacas did not align properly,” says Larry Voice, civil engineer for FEMA Region 6, “and some others that because of the alignment, weren't in the flood zone when they really should have been. So we were underestimating there.”

KRGV’s Carolina Cruz has the story.

Watch the video above for the full report.

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