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 Nadeau Land Surveys
Maine NFIP Corner: A message from Sue Baker, the State NFIP Coordinator: "New LiMWA Viewer Developed by FEMA Region 1"
In the News: "Barely a Cloud in the Sky and Portland, Maine, is Flooding" and "Menendez to Introduce Flood Insurance Fix"
Call for Presenters: 2022 Beaches Conference, South Berwick, Maine
Resources: "Building Codes Toolkit" and "Flood Map Changes Viewer"
Flood Insurance Corner: "FEMA’s Flood Insurance Advocate Explains Flood Claims"
Climate Corner: "Rising Sea Levels Threaten the Lives and Livelihood of Those on a Fragile U.S. Coast"
Real Estate Corner: "Realtors: FEMA’s New Flood Insurance Pricing Looks Promising" and "Maine’s Climate is Getting More Volatile. Is Your Home Ready For It?"

Banner Image: A festive scene from Alamitos Heights, Long Beach, CA. Image by Craig Wallace, Alamitos Heights Blog, December 19, 2013.


Happy Holidays from Nadeau Land Surveys!

Nadeau Land Surveys would like to extend our best wishes for your health and happiness through this holiday season and into the new year. We have enjoyed our collaboration with each of our clients and it has been a privilege to provide professional services to all. This time of year, we like to give thanks for our blessings and reflect on how we can be helpful to others, whether they be less fortunate, in need of sound guidance, or simply companionship. Be kind, be safe, and look out for one another.

With Gratitude,
Nadeau Land Surveys


Maine NFIP Corner

Sue Baker, CFM, State NFIP Coordinator

New LiMWA Viewer Developed by FEMA Region 1

The FEMA Region 1 Risk Analysis Branch has released a new Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA) Viewer for the New England states, including Maine.

This tool is designed to supplement the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and the National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) available on the FEMA Map Service Center in order to reduce confusion for anyone trying to make a determination if a property is located in a Coastal AE zone/LiMWA area. The LiMWA line delineates Coastal AE flood zones, the portion of an AE zone lying directly behind a VE zone with wave heights between 3.0 feet and 1.5 feet.

Identifying the location of the LiMWA line on the FIRM and NFHL can be problematic, as the line can appear to be hidden if it coincides with another flood boundary line. The LiMWA line is a continuous line running along the length of the shoreline. This new viewer contains only two elements: the NFHL and the unbroken LiMWA line (shown as a yellow line) from FEMA's digital FIRMs.

The images below show an example of how the unbroken LiMWA line can reduce confusion. A FIRM map must also be utilized in conjunction with this viewer to determine the flood zone.

This viewer is publicly available. However, this is an informal tool to assist with LiMWA interpretation. Any official determinations must be made in conjunction with the FIRM. The tool can be found at this link: Region 1 LiMWA Viewer (arcgis.com)

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This image shows the LiMWA line as a black line with triangles but the line "disappears" when it coincides with another flood boundary line.

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This image shows the continuous, unbroken LiMWA line in yellow. Anything seaward of the yellow line is located within either the LiMWA area/Coastal AE zone or VE zone.


In the News

Barely a Cloud in the Sky and Portland, Maine, is Flooding

By: Sam Weber and Christopher Booker, PBS News Hour Weekend, November 14, 2021

The Gulf of Maine is one of the fastest-warming bodies of saltwater on the planet. In Portland, Maine, sea levels are expected to rise 10 to 17 inches by 2030 from the levels in 2000. Christopher Booker reports on how the city is trying to adapt to climate change as flooding from sea level rise increases. The story is part of our ongoing initiative, Peril & Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change.

Click here to read the full transcript from the episode.

Menendez to Introduce Flood Insurance Fix

Newswires, November 5, 2021

On November 1st, The National Flood Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2021 was introduced by U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, "marking the senator's latest attempt to craft a long-term renewal of the flood insurance program that would stress mitigation and limit what he termed "rate shock", the sharply rising premiums that will impact many policyholders under rules."

Click here to learn more about the actions Menendez's bill proposes.


Call for Presenters

The Beaches Conference is inviting submissions for presentations at the 2022 Beaches Conference in South Berwick, Maine.

The goal of the 2022 Beaches Conference
The Beaches Conference is designed to inspire learning, appreciation and awareness, and
promote informed decision-making and actions on our changing beaches and coasts. The event
fosters the exchange of scientific, cultural, and experiential knowledge from diverse interests.
Please join in building and celebrating the partnerships needed to support long-term beach
and coastal monitoring, management, and stewardship.

The Conference would love to have more submissions from real estate professionals and municipal staff!

Click here to learn more about the conference themes and to submit a proposal.


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Building Codes Toolkit

The new FEMA Building Science Branch Building Codes Toolkit offers basic guidance and tools to help building owners and occupants learn about building codes and the process of making a building stronger against natural hazards.

Building codes are the minimum design and construction requirements to protect the health and safety of building owners and occupants, and the public. In the past, building codes, how they are added into buildings, and their value to communities, have only been understood by the technical community. FEMA knows it is also important for building owners and occupants to learn about building codes and how they protect lives and property.

Click here to download the Building Codes Toolkit.

Flood Map Changes Viewer

The Flood Map Changes Viewer (FMCV) provides a single location to access flood hazard data across several data life stages and facilitates a better understanding of potential changes coming to flood hazard risks. It includes the preliminary National Flood Hazard Layer, preliminary Changes Since Last FIRM (CSLF), the preliminary Map Comparison Tool, the pending National Flood Hazard Layer and the National Flood Hazard Layer.

Preliminary data are for review and guidance purposes only and cannot be used to rate flood insurance policies; they are not used to determine whether there is a mandatory flood insurance requirement.

Click here to access the Flood Map Changes Viewer.

Click here to learn more about Flood Map Products.


Flood Insurance Corner


FEMA’s Flood Insurance Advocate Explains Flood Claims

FEMA’s Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate (OFIA) created this video to help the public better understand how to navigate the claims process for policies under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

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"As sea levels rise and salt water seeps into previously unaffected coastal flora and salt marsh areas, the plants wither, and only the thickest parts of trees remain." Image by Cameron Pollack for NPR

Climate Corner

Rising Sea Levels Threaten the Lives and Livelihood of Those on a Fragile U.S. Coast

By: Barry Gordemer, NPR, November 7, 2021

This is a story about a tree, a fisherman and a queen.

Each is profoundly connected to a South Carolina coastal community threatened by rising sea levels caused by climate change. And each uniquely represents what's at stake: the lives and livelihoods of those who call this area home.

Click here to read or listen to the story on NPR.

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Real Estate Corner

Realtors: FEMA’s New Flood Insurance Pricing Looks Promising

By: Rachel Sawicki, Delaware State News, Associated Press, November 7, 2021

This article shares feedback from real estate professionals on how FEMA's new Risk Rating 2.0 program can provide valuable incentive for homeowners to commit to mitigation and resiliency improvements.

Click here to read the full article on US News.com.

Maine’s Climate is Getting More Volatile. Is Your Home Ready For It?

By Tux Turkel, Portland Press Herald, September 12, 2021

Mainers historically have thought about readying their homes to stay warm in the winter and deal with snow and ice. Now the thought process needs to shift to year-round preparations. The challenge has become: How can Mainers climate-proof their homes? How can they make their houses more resilient to intensifying weather?

Because every home and every location is different, there’s no one formula for fortifying a house for a changing climate. But in general, experts say, climate-proofing is a multistep process that starts with identifying problem areas and coming up with cost-effective ways to address them over time in a sequence that makes sense.

Click here to read the full article.

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