Welcome to the Flood Zone! A resource for those interested in flood zone issues, land surveying, real estate, history, educational opportunities, and

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A resource for those interested in flood zone issues, land surveying, real estate, history, educational opportunities, and local events.

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Jim Headshot

Message from Jim

Twice a year, the National Flood Insurance Program revises their insurance manual. This latest revision encumbers several areas, but the primary change pertains to rate increases for policies written or renewed after October 1, 2012. The average policy premium increase will be approximately 5% and should not be recognized as an affordable increase, but instead, an acknowledgement that the many factors of flood continue to contribute to risk. Remember, approximately 25% of all flood claims occur outside the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), Zone A or V. Don’t think the maps can only be inaccurate when you are placed in a SFHA, and accurate when placed outside.

Premium increases within a SFHA: Post-FIRM V Zone = 8%, Pre-FIRM V Zone = 10%, Post-FIRM A Zone = 2%, Pre-FIRM A Zone = 9%, and Unnumbered A Zones = 2%. Increases outside the SFHA: a Standard Policy = 5%, and a Preferred Risk Policy = 3%. Policies written or renewed within the Mortgage Portfolio Protection Program = 10%.

A second change pertains to policy effective dates. A borrower must purchase a policy within 60 days of a lender’s letter to purchase, to avoid a 30 day waiting period for a policy to become effective. For insurance purchased within the 60 days, the policy becomes effective immediately. A third change pertains to the signatures required for cancellation. All insured parties are required to sign.

Earlier in the month I wanted to discuss “Sea Level Rise” as a relevant factor to flood risk. This will be my topic next month. Insurance rate increases is a pertinent topic to segue into the many factors contributing to risk. The NFIP is taking great strides to address risk at a national level, but understand this task is an extremely daunting process. Errors will always exist within the maps due to inferior data used within the initial flood study, compounded with changes in the watershed since the initial map.

Regulation and insurance decisions use the elevations at face value for program compliance, but in design or planning, the elevations should be used as predicted elevations. This concept is further supported with the logic of the implementation of “Freeboard”. Also, without the implementation of new data, DFIRMS will not become more accurate, but just easier to determine the initial horizontal determination. Understand your risk; cost increases will impact many within a community.

~ Jim

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What's New With Us?

Nadeau Land Surveys welcomes Brian Berube to its staff!

Brian joined Nadeau Land Surveys in September 2012. He is licensed in Maine as a land surveyor-in-training. He obtained both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Maine and currently holds a B.S. in forest operations science with minors in surveying engineering and forest products. In 2011 he obtained his master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance. He is a member of the Maine Society of Land Surveyors and participates on the Society’s membership committee.
Brian has been involved in a variety of projects that have combined his knowledge of plane and geodetic surveying methodology and standards of practice with GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to assist clients with geodata development, maintenance and spatial analysis.
He also has experience with the principles and practices of Static and RTK GPS and their application and inclusion in a variety of surveying and engineering projects.

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flood house

Flood not so Funny

There's a really good reason why floodplain managers guide development in flood zones...
Addition of earth fill, which is usually required when constructing new buildings, can drastically alter the natural floodplain. No doubt, development will have a compounding effect on a watershed, impacting a flood zone.

Check out the diagram below for a closer look.

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MMAred2

Announcements

Maine Municipal Association's 2012 Convention

We're excited to be a part of the Maine Municipal Association's annual convention this year. Nadeau Land Surveys will be joining other local businesses in the exhibition area of the Augusta Civic Center Oct. 3 and 4. Stop on by if you're attending the convention! On Thursday, Oct. 4th, Jim will be presenting during two sessions:
8:45 AM - 10:00 AM - Mortgage Loan Inspections vs. Boundary Surveys
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM - Understanding Flood Zones

National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization!

Did you know that over the last several years, Congress has reauthorized the extension of the NFIP 17 times! Well, thanks to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, we can look forward to another 5 year extension - until September 20, 2017. Several reforms have been made to the bill and it could be a year or so before policy holders feel some of the adjustments. But thankfully, the program is still secure!
Click here to learn more about the reform and reauthorization of the NFIP.

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Beyond the Boundary Banner

In the News

Beyond the Boundary: Municipalities and Clients, You are the Guide

The American Surveyor, Vol. 9, No.8, by James Nadeau
Our third article has been published in The American Surveyor magazine!
Read it online!

Real Estate Outlook: Days On Market Shrinking

Carla Hill, Realty Times, Sept. 17, 2012
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist states, "Ironically, if housing construction doesn’t pick up to normal levels within two years, supply shortages could be sustained for an extended period and lead to above average appreciation. Therefore, any unnecessary hindrance to housing starts, such as excessive local zoning regulations or stringent bank capital rules for construction loans, should be carefully re-examined."
Read more!

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Surveying & Golf

Several weeks ago, I took a day to spend quality time with my son Cooper, and we ventured down to the TPC Boston golf tourney to see the many golfers we call our favorites. At one point in the day, we viewed the electronic billboard on the 17th fairway just before Keegan Bradley was preparing to hit his approach shot from 185 yards out. The statistic on the board read that from this distance, he averages a distance of 20’6” to the pin ranking him 94th on tour. Very impressive and cool statistic! But wait, how is a number like this calculated? The same method that computes that a putt is a little over 22’, or the average driving distance of a particular golfer is 297 yards.

Enter the Professional Land Surveyor. Land Surveyors are spread out over the golf course recording every shot with the use of a reflectorless total station or GPS unit. Each round of a tournament starts with an accurate location of the new position of tee box and hole on each green. The values are recorded and the data collection begins. They are crafty in this strategy since you seldom see the land surveyor on the TV screen. Difference in elevation is often mentioned as part of the shot. Most might have thought the commentators just knew the course well or did not ever consider the source of these accurate numbers.

Now you’re able to enjoy a round of golf a bit more. The distances are land surveyor certified.

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