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

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Welcome to the Flood Zone!

A nationally distributed resource for those interested in flood zone issues, land surveying, real estate, history, and educational opportunities. If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, simply click the unsubscribe link in the footer of this message.

Jim Headshot

Message from Jim

Over the last year, the quantity of homeowners and consultants who have reached out to us to better understand flood risk, insurance rating, mitigation strategies, the benefits of the Elevation Certificate, and the Letter of Map Amendment Process has increased greatly. This is terrific news! Many fears have been removed by asking questions. Concerns have included understanding the difference between perceived risk depicted on a flood map and actual risk which exists from a coastal storm, erosion, watershed development, regulation oversight, or poor site choice.

This interest continues to motivate our office to reach many others who have not yet grasped the many benefits of being pro-active. Improved design choices, obtaining accurate ground elevations, and evaluating the change in perceived risk as the paper maps transition to the digital flood insurance rate maps are several sound pro-active strategies. We have always stressed the importance of understanding risk prior to the transition to digital for insurance rating benefit. If this evaluation did not occur yet, other benefits continue to exist. For example, improvements which horizontally scale in a Special Flood Hazard Area as shown on a digital flood map may be easier to determine, and may be a very good candidate for removal by elevation.

Education should always be treated as a close friend in which we can confide for sound direction. The NFIP has many strong attributes and understands that the maps are not perfect and allows for challenging to occur. Do not assume the horizontal flood determination process, which does not use vertical elevations, is the one and only step in determining flood risk. Sitting in the balance is the impact flood determinations can make on purchasing power and resale value. Identify proper options and remove your fears through education of the National Flood Insurance Program.

esri flood

This image depicts the real-time flood hazards that were occurring across the southeastern U.S. last month.


Did you know you can find real-time information on flooding throughout the country?

The Esri Disaster Response Program provides continuous updates from the National Weather Service, and maps them out for you to view. From the map, you can click around and view forecasts, alerts, videos, and more! This resource also provides an extensive list of links to find more information on flood hazards, severe weather outlooks, mapping applications, and volunteer opportunities.

Click here to check it out!


"Because Jon and Kathy Parker couldn’t see the shoreline from their house, they never really believed their home could be wiped out by a flood—until the day it was. They considered relocating, but in the end, they decided to take out a new mortgage and rebuild. They wanted to do what they could to protect their investment and avoid another devastating flood." (FEMA, 2013)

Rebuilding in the AE Zone

This publication is intended to provide information to property owners rebuilding in an AE Flood Zone, and the benefits of building higher than the Advisory Base Flood Elevations (ABFEs). When considering mitigation options, it is helpful to understand where long-term cost savings can occur. Flood risk can change, so it is always best to be well prepared.

Click here to download a PDF of this informational document.


Click on the photo to download FEMA's Increased Cost of Compliance Fact Sheet.

NFIP Terminology:

Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC)

Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage is one of several resources for flood insurance policyholders who need additional help rebuilding after a flood. It provides up to $30,000 to help cover the cost of mitigation measures that will reduce flood risk. ICC coverage is a part of most standard flood insurance policies available under the National Flood Insurance Program. Acceptable mitigation measures are elevation, flood-proofing, relocation, demolition, or any combination thereof.

To be eligible for this coverage, a building must meet one of two conditions:
1) Community determines it has been "substantially damaged" (damage due to flood has equaled or exceeded 50% of the value of the building) and repairs must meet local ordinances.
2) Repetitive Loss - insured building incurs flood damage two times over a period of 10 years, and that cost of repairs on average was at least 25% of the market value of the building before the damage occurred each time.

More information can also be found in: "Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) Coverage: Guidance for State and Local Officials"


Upcoming Events:

Presentation: "Local Flood Risk Assessment using Publicly Available Data and GIS Tools"

Learn how Maine is making use of publicly available data and GIS tools for flood risk assessment at a presentation by Jenn Curtis, CFM and Senior Planning & Mapping Coordinator for the Maine Floodplain Management Program, and Leticia VanVurren, HAZUS Professional and Geospatial Database Manager for Knox County EMA.

What: 2016 Maine Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference
Where: Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, Maine
When: April 20th, 2016
Fee: There is no charge for attending the conference.


Assessing flood risk for planning purposes requires identifying the probability of a flood occurrence and determining the likely consequences. This presentation will be split into two parts; the first part will cover how to use available flood risk information to determine the probability of a flood event, and the second will be on using HAZUS to determine the likely consequences of such an event.


In the News

4 Questions to Ask Your Flood Insurance Agent about the New FEMA Maps

By Littice Bacon-Blood, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, 3/16/2016

The floodplain management director from Jefferson Parrish, Louisiana, outlines four key questions to ask your insurance agent about how changes in flood maps will affect your property.
Read more!

Insurance agents: are you ready for these questions? Check out the agent resources on FloodSmart.gov., and learn more about the NFIP, how to talk to clients about flood insurance, how to write a policy, and more!

House Committee Passes Private Flood Insurance Bill

By Andrew G. Simpson, Insurance Journal, 3/02/2016

The House Financial Services Committee approved the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act (H.R. 2901), which seeks to clarify that private insurance is to be treated the same as federal flood insurance in cases where homeowners with federally-backed mortgages are required to buy the coverage. Read more!


Thomas Blake, one of our surveyors, and Author of "Images of America: New Gloucester" recalled a photo featured in his book of the old Stevens School on Intervale Road, where the stable, which was also used as a school house, was said to have once housed that elephant when the circus was passing through town!

On this day...in 1796

The first known elephant arrived in the United States!

From Natural History Magazine:

Father of author Nathaniel Hawthorne, a sailor on the The America, wrote in his log book:

“This day begins with moderate breezes . . . latter part employed in landing 23 sacks of coffee . . . took on board several pumpkins and cabbages, some fresh fish for ship’s use, and greens for the elephant.” Below is written in large letters “ELEPHANT ON BOARD.”

Read more!


Tom Blake, PLS, CFM, is celebrating his 20th year as a surveyor for Nadeau Land Surveys!

Our sincerest thanks to Tom, for his hard work and many valuable contributions to the company!


April Flood Funny


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