Welcome to the Flood Zone is a nationally distributed resource for those interested in flood zone issues, land surveying, real estate, history, and educational opportunities. This newsletter has been proudly featured by the Association of State Floodplain Managers, the National Society of Professional Surveyors, and the Maine and New Hampshire Floodplain Management Programs. Please feel free to share with your friends and colleagues!

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In this Issue of Welcome to the Flood Zone:

Message from Jim
Maine NFIP Corner: A message from Sue Baker, the State NFIP Coordinator
In the News: "Viewpoint: How the Northeastern U.S. Private Flood Market Can Close the Coverage Gap"
Resources: "Severe Weather 101 - Floods", "Coastal Hazards and Flood Mapping: A Visual Guide", and "Flood Resilience Portal"
Climate Corner: "Sea Level Rise Could Flood Thousands of Miami's Affordable Housing Spots, Research Shows"
Flood Insurance: MYTH or FACT? Wind-driven rain is considered flooding. See below to learn the facts...
Real Estate Corner: "Buying a House in a Flood Zone? Here's What to Expect"
Banner Image: Inland flooding from "The Types of Flood Events and Their Causes". Image by Kim Johnson / EyeEm / Getty Images


Message from Jim

I am pleased to announce that Nadeau Land Surveys is adding a new regular column to this newsletter called the “Maine NFIP Corner”. This feature will allow the State NFIP Coordinator, Sue Baker, to communicate vital information to local code officials and other floodplain management professionals throughout our wonderful state and beyond! This, in turn, will allow each participating community, the public, and the many program stakeholders to stay current on important governmental changes and insights.

The State of Maine is extremely fortunate to have Sue as the NFIP program coordinator and Janet Parker as its Planner. Collectively, they have a total of 35 years of experience in the NFIP state program. The Program provides services such as education, monitoring, and enforcement, and builds state capability for managing flood risk through prevention, preparedness, recovery, and mitigation.

Continuing education creates opportunities to make stronger and more effective decisions. With flood risk uncertainty and major flood insurance rating changes expected later this year, we welcome the opportunity to strengthen our educational outreach by giving the state program a forum to interact with our readers. We truly appreciate the knowledge and passion of the state program staff and we hope you will join us in welcoming them. Thank you ladies!


Maine NFIP Corner

Sue Baker, CFM, State NFIP Coordinator

As I sat enjoying my coffee on the first morning of the new year, I found myself thinking about 2021 and my goals for the new year. My very first thought was how excited I am that Jim has graciously given us a coveted spot in this newsletter so that we can consistently communicate with our Maine communities and those who work with or are impacted by the NFIP and its requirements. It’s enough to make a flood geek giddy!

The NFIP and our State program consist of three primary goals: 1) to grow local capacity and capability to improve resiliency through floodplain management, 2) to build state floodplain management capability and promote strong state inter-agency coordination and collaboration, and 3) to promote the benefits of flood insurance and drive demand for strong floodplain management development standards. We do this work through an annual work agreement with the FEMA Region I office.

I’m looking forward to partnering with Nadeau Land Surveys so the Program can share important information, training opportunities and so much more. Thank you for being here and please know that we look forward to serving you through this fantastic newsletter!


In the News

Viewpoint: How the Northeastern U.S. Private Flood Market Can Close the Coverage Gap

By Garrett Mitchell, Insurance Journal, December 22, 2020

The northeastern U.S. is one of the key areas of the country at risk for flooding, as evidenced by the billions in losses from Superstorm Sandy, which saw more than $8.1 billion in 144,000 NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) claims.

When procuring flood insurance, agents and homeowners have had virtually one option since 1968: The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program. NFIP has more than five million policyholders nationwide and is the nation’s largest single-line insurance program providing nearly $1.3 trillion in coverage against flood.

With advancements in technology and the increased availability of reliable data, however, private insurers have entered the flood marketplace, providing consumers with alternatives to the historical FEMA program. The emerging private flood market brings benefits to consumers across the country, but there are also a few concerns that come with it.

Click here to read the full article!




Severe Weather 101 - Floods

The National Severe Storms Laboratory, in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), created learning resources to teach the public about the risks of extreme weather, such as thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods. This resource covers flood basics, risk detection, forecasting, and answers frequently asked questions.

Check it out!


Coastal Hazards and Flood Mapping: A Visual Guide

This condensed FEMA publication helps in understanding coastal hazards and risks. It defines common terminology and offers visual depictions of concepts such as wave runup, erosion, base flood elevations, and coastal flood zones. This a great resource for anyone looking for a basic understanding of coastal flood risk.

Click here to download the PDF.


Flood Resilience Portal

The Flood Resilience Portal provides practitioners who live and work in flood-affected communities with easy access to the resources they need to build resilience to floods. Click on the link below to explore practical technologies (understood as methods, systems, and tools) that can help reduce flooding, and the impacts it can have on people's lives and livelihoods. The site also includes a resource library and a solutions finder to help people understand, advocate for, and use, different approaches to reduce flood risk.

Click here to learn more about practical technologies to reduce flooding!


Climate Corner

Sea Level Rise Could Flood Thousands of Miami's Affordable Housing Spots, Research Shows

By Alex Harris and Yadira Lopez, Miami Herald, December 8, 2020

New research shows that Miami’s affordable housing — already in short supply — is at risk of flooding from sea level rise in the coming decades. The University of Miami found that more than half of all affordable housing in Miami-Dade County lies below Miami’s average elevation of seven feet above sea level.

A national survey of federally subsidized housing published last week in the journal Environmental Research Letters had similar findings. Benjamin Strauss, CEO and Chief Scientist of nonprofit research organization Climate Central, said the research showed that thousands of federally subsidized housing units are at risk as sea levels rise.

“This population is the group least able to respond to or recover from coastal flooding,” said Strauss, one of the authors of the paper. “People who have valuable homes, it’s terrible to see the values go down, but it’s not as terrible as having nothing and having the little you have become contaminated by mold. It’s not as bad as losing your appliances when those are your only valuables.”

Click here to read the full article from the "Miami Herald".

Click here to read the referenced Climate Central report "Coastal Flood Risk to Affordable Housing Projected to Triple by 2050"


Flood Insurance: Myth or Fact?

MYTH: Wind-driven rain is considered flooding

FACT: Rain entering through wind-damaged windows, doors, holes in walls or the roof, resulting in standing water or puddles, is considered windstorm rather than flood damage. Federal flood insurance covers only damage caused by the general condition of flooding as defined below. Buildings that sustain flood damage usually have a watermark showing how high the water rose before it subsided. While flood insurance policies specifically exclude wind and hail coverage, most homeowners’ policies include this coverage.

The NFIP defines covered flooding as a general and temporary condition during which the surface of normally dry land is partially or completely inundated. Two adjacent properties or two or more acres must be affected. Flooding can be caused by any one of the following:

▪ Overflow of inland or tidal waters.
▪ Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, such as heavy rainfall.
▪ Mudslides or mudflows caused by flooding that are comparable to a river of liquid and flowing mud.
▪ Collapse or destabilization of land along the lakeshore or other body of water resulting from erosion or the effect of waves.
▪ Water currents exceeding normal, cyclical levels.
Overflow of inland or tidal waters.
Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, such as heavy rainfall.
Mudslides or mudflows caused by flooding that are comparable to a river of liquid and flowing mud.
Collapse or destabilization of land along the lakeshore or other body of water resulting from erosion or the effect of waves.
Water currents exceeding normal, cyclical levels.

From "Myths and Facts About Flood Insurance", FEMA, November 18, 2020

for sale

Real Estate Corner

Buying a House in a Flood Zone? Here's What to Expect

By Erik J. Martin, Bankrate, August 11, 2020

This article shares some important tips to note if considering purchasing a house that scales in a high risk flood zone, such as what to know when applying for a mortgage, what are the risks or benefits of buying this type of property, and how value may be impacted.

Click here to read the full article.


January Flood Funny

feb flood

Image by Walt Handelsman, Palm Beach Post, January 9, 2017

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