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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.

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Message from Jim

As impacts of recent Winter Storm Juno stretched throughout the northeast, a State of Emergency was declared in New Jersey, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. With estimates of almost 30 million people being affected, it is not difficult to find photos or stories of unfortunate events related to the storm, but sadly, many will continue to say “it won’t happen to me”. News Break! Many more have just been added to the growing list who can no longer continue to make this statement. Juno is a name that will forever remain in their lives. Sgt. Jennifer Bruno, of the Massachusetts National Guard, was one of those unfortunate people. She evacuated during the storm and returned to find her waterfront home with the roof collapsed, her door missing, and rocks everywhere (CNN, 2015).

What is not realized is that all storms weaken our coastlines, regardless of size or intensity. In Maine, we received over two feet of snow, but with slightly different contributing factors such as translational speed, higher winds, angle of storm approach, bathometry, and topography, the impact could have been more severe. Juno had the potential of being the “perfect storm” with its duration encumbering several high tides. Storm surge, the water present in a storm additional to the predicted astronomical tide, is another major contributing factor.


Photo of a seawall breach in Scituate, MA during Winter Storm Juno (CNN 1/27/2015). An NBC report of the damage in Nantucket said wind gusts exceeded 75 mph, high tides created 4-foot high waves that breached protective walls and flooded the streets, at least 11 people had to be evacuated from their homes, and waters surged 7 feet in some low-lying areas. Streets remained flooded because the storm drains were frozen. (NBC, 1/27/2015)

Mitigation continues to be the word best used in adapting to Mother Nature. Planning and design should implement long-term strategies in preparation for the future. Minimum requirements in high-risk areas are not adequate for long-term planning. Be pro-active and respect that concepts such as sea level rise due to rising carbon dioxide levels will continue. Studies and data show that sea level rise will continue to accelerate. Each storm takes something from our community. Mother Nature can be extremely loud and cumbersome, but most of her damage actually occurs quietly and without mainstream reporting. Remember, it typically costs less to prepare than to repair!



Storm Surge in the Winter
By Stephanie Fauver, NOAA Digital Coast. January 27th, 2015.
Late summer tropical hurricanes are not the only storms to bring strong winds, coastal flooding, and erosion. In New England, the nor'easters are considered just as dangerous, especially when several feet of snow and ice are involved. Read more for tips on how to protect your community and yourself.

From Jeffrey Masters, PhD. - Director of Meteorology, Weather Underground, "The surge is usually not a wall of water as is often assumed, but rather a rapid rise of water of several feet over a period of minutes." (Storm Surge Survival Misconceptions, Weather Underground)

"Introduction to Storm Surge". What is it? What causes it? Click here to download a pdf on the basics of storm surge.


Depiction of a fifteen foot hurricane storm surge occurring at high tide of two feet above mean sea level, creating a seventeen foot storm tide. Note that there are 10-foot waves on top of the 17-foot storm tide, so the external high water mark (HWM) left on the outside of structures by this hurricane could be 27 feet or higher. Image credit: NOAA SLOSH Display Training Manual


Insurance Corner

Updated Fee Schedule for FEMA Flood Map Related Products

Effective February 20, 2015, requests for processing certain map change and insurance products and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) data will have new fees in order to allow FEMA to reduce expenses to the NFIP. These updated fees will recover the cost of processing, retrieving, reproducing, and distributing these products more fully. Click here to view the Federal Register's Announcement from January 21, 2015.


Take your continuing education to the next level, and learn how to assess flood risk both on paper, and on the ground.

Learning Events

"Coastal Real Estate: Understanding Flood Zones and Recognizing Flood Resilient Properties"


Due to predicted inclement weather this evening through tomorrow morning, the class originally scheduled for Thursday, February 5th, 2015 will now be scheduled for: March 26th, 2015, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

If you have already registered and have not confirmed whether you will be attending the rescheduled class, please contact us as soon as possible.

For those who have not registered, but would like to attend, please click the link below.

Location: Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Wells, ME
Fee: $35
Continuing Education Credits: 3 Maine Real Estate clock hours and 3 Contact Hours in Shoreland Zoning for Code Enforcement Officers


If you have any questions, or would like to sign up to receive Learning Event Notifications, please contact Nikki Oteyza at nikki@nadeaulandsurveys.com

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We are pleased to announce we will be presenting an educational workshop at the 2015 national conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 1st, 2015. The theme of this year's conference is "Mitigation on My Mind".
Click here to learn more about the event.

FEMA defines "Mitigation" as the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Mitigation is taking action now—before the next disaster—to reduce human and financial consequences later (analyzing risk, reducing risk, insuring against risk). Effective mitigation requires that we all understand local risks, address the hard choices, and invest in long-term community well-being. Without mitigation actions, we jeopardize our safety, financial security, and self-reliance. (ASFPM, 2015)


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