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!

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, simply click the unsubscribe link in the footer of this message.


In this Issue of Welcome to the Flood Zone:

Message from Jim
Maine NFIP Corner: "Shoreland Zoning News: Storm Recovery Resources" and "Flooding in Maine"
Real Estate Corner: "After Record Flooding, Committee Advances Bill to Require Flood Risk Disclosures for Real Estate"
In the News: "How the Maine Coast Will be Reshaped by a Rising Gulf of Maine" and "New Model Adds Human Reactions to Flood Risk Assessment"
Resources: "2023 Edition of FEMA's Elevation Certificate Available" and "NFIP Map Changes and Flood Insurance: What Property Owners Need to Know"

Banner Image: Historic fishing shacks in South Portland swept away in January's storm. Image by Ben Tero, from: "Another potent storm brings historic coastal flooding, high winds to an already-drenched Maine", Portland Press Herald, January 13, 2024.


Message from Jim

With winter being more than halfway behind us, and Red Sox pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in a week, spring will soon be upon us. So hopefully, without any future large winter storms, we can all get to the blooming flowers stage of 2024 without any additional flood damage. Snow and ice cover is down this year throughout the state, so the spring thaw should be less impactful.

Moving in another direction, as the flood program continues to evolve, and with the implementation of Risk Rating 2.0 now almost one year in our rear view mirror, some significant local changes are expected to occur within the next year. The long-awaited Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps are set to become effective June 20, 2024, for Cumberland County, Maine and July 17, 2024, in York County, Maine. As well, LD 2035, “An Act Regarding Disclosure of Flood Risk by Sellers of Real Estate”, is undergoing revisions prior to going to the legislature. Improved flood disclosure has been near and dear to me for many years, so these changes along with Risk Rating 2.0 continue to move the program in a positive direction.

Real estate agencies, boards, councils, or associations: should you desire to improve your licensees' understanding of the many facets of the NFIP and how changes may impact real estate transactions, we continue to provide Maine Real Estate Commission-approved CEU classes via Zoom and in live classroom format. We have several private events scheduled in the next month and welcome further opportunities. Flood risk will continue to expand the responsibilities and requirements of the many parties involved in a real estate transaction. Let us know if we can help!


Maine NFIP Corner

maine dep

Shoreland Zoning News: Storm Recovery Resources

The January Edition of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection's "Shoreland Zoning News" provides information to municipalities related to the damaging storms that recently impacted the state. It includes articles discussing Shoreland Zoning, Floodplain Management, the Natural Resources Protection Act, and DEP Response Services in regard to oil tanks. Each article contains contact information to gather additional resources if needed.

Click here to view the newsletter on Maine DEP's website.

Flooding in Maine

Maine Public, January 25, 2024

Maine Public interviewed several panelists to discuss the recent flooding in Maine and what individuals and communities can do to be better prepared. It features commentary from Sue Baker, Program Coordinator, Maine Floodplain Management Program, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; Jeremy Bell, Program Director, Climate Adaptation, The Nature Conservancy in Maine; and Peter Slovinsky, Marine Geologist specializing in coastal management, Maine Geological Survey, Maine DACF.

Click here to listen to the Maine Public broadcast.


The fishing vessel Tara Lynn II crashed into the rocky coast of Cape Elizabeth amid powerful winds and record-breaking tides on the coast of southern Maine. The crew was rescued. Jan. 13, 2024. (Jim Neuger/Maine Morning Star)

Real Estate Corner

After Record Flooding, Committee Advances Bill to Require Flood Risk Disclosures for Real Estate

By: Emma Davis, Maine Morning Star, January 16, 2024

Currently, Maine law doesn’t explicitly require sellers to disclose property flood risk or past flood damage to potential buyers. On Tuesday, the Maine Legislature’s Judiciary Committee took a step toward changing that.

With six legislators voting in support, four in opposition and three absent, the committee voted to back a proposal that would require sellers to provide written notice to potential buyers about whether a property falls within the most up-to-date Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Map.

Click here to read the full article.

The Association of State Floodplain Managers submitted testimony in support of the flood disclosure bill in Maine.

Click here to learn more and read their testimony, as published in ASFPM's most recent issue of "News & Views"


In the News


This image depicts projected inundation from sea level rise in Kennebunk, Maine. Source: Maine Geological Survey

How the Maine Coast Will be Reshaped by a Rising Gulf of Maine

By: Penelope Overton, Portland Press Herald, January 21, 2024

Maine sea levels are projected to rise between 1.1 and 3.2 feet by 2050 and between 3 and 9.3 feet by 2100, depending on how successful and quick we are at curbing global emissions rates.

Click here to read the full article.

New Model Adds Human Reactions to Flood Risk Assessment

U.S. National Science Foundation, January 9, 2024

Researchers at North Carolina State University have created a land-change model that simulates interactions between urban growth, increased flooding and human response. The new model could offer a more realistic assessment of risk for urban planners, natural resource managers and other local government stakeholders.

Click here to learn more!




2023 Edition of FEMA's Elevation Certificate Available

FEMA released an updated version of the 2022 Elevation Certificate to correct issues with the fillable form fields. It can be found on FEMA's NFIP Underwriting Forms page.

Click here for a direct link to the Elevation Certificate form.

If the document doesn't open directly into a PDF, click download when the online PDF page opens, and then open the document from the location it was downloaded to.


NFIP Map Changes and Flood Insurance: What Property Owners Need to Know

Last month we shared a resource about flood map changes - this one is more current! Enjoy, and feel free to share with your colleagues and clients.

This brochure explains flood maps to property owners. It also details what property owners can expect when their property is mapped into or out of a special flood hazard area (SFHA) and how they can reduce their flood insurance premium.

Click here to view the 8-page FEMA brochure.


February Flood Funny


Image by Ken Stark, Richland Co. 2018. Featured in "The Cap Times", September 16, 2018.

Powered by Mad Mimi®A GoDaddy® company