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:

Maine NFIP Corner: "Maine Legislature to consider LD 1809: An Act To Allow Exceptions to the Height Limitations under the Shoreland Zoning Laws"
In the News: "US Businesses to Lose a Collective 3.1 Million Days of Operation from Flooding in 2022, Report Shows", and "U.S. Winter Outlook: Drier, Warmer South, Wetter North with Return of La Nina"
Resources: "FEMA Technical Bulletin 10", "MyCoast: Maine" and "This New Tool Lets You See Floods From Around the World, Dating Back to 1985"
Flood Insurance Corner: "What the FLOOD!" and "Basement Flooding - What's Covered?"
Climate Corner: "Study Projects a Surge in Coastal Flooding, Starting in 2030s"
Real Estate Corner: "Saturation Point: NJ Puts Affordable Homes in Flood-Prone Areas — and Residents at Risk"

Banner Image: The aftermath of Winter Storm Jonas, where on top of two feet of snow in some areas, high winds pushed substantial amounts of water inland on the coast of New Jersey. Photo from: "Winter Storm Jonas Flood Victims - You Have 60 Days to File a Proof of Loss", Merlin Law Group, January 25, 2016.


Maine NFIP Corner

Sue Baker, CFM, State NFIP Coordinator

Maine Legislature to consider LD 1809: An Act To Allow Exceptions to the Height Limitations under the Shoreland Zoning Laws

Summary: This bill amends how the height of a new or existing principal or accessory structure, including a legally existing nonconforming structure located in the shoreland zone, is measured when the structure is also located in an area of special flood hazard and there is a minimum elevation required for structures by a local floodplain management ordinance. This bill specifically allows for an exception to shoreland zoning height requirements for legally existing nonconforming structures located in an area of special flood hazard in order to be consistent with a local floodplain management elevation requirement.

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. A public hearing is scheduled for Monday, January 10th at 10:30 am, Cross Building, Room 216 in Augusta.

Click here to read the full bill.


In the News

US Businesses to Lose a Collective 3.1 Million Days of Operation from Flooding in 2022, Report Shows

By Rachel Ramirez, CNN, December 13, 2021

As climate change increases sea level, fuels more extreme rainfall and supercharges hurricanes, American businesses are set to collectively lose millions of days of operation in coming years due to flood-related damages, according to a new report.

Damage from flooding in the US costs billions of dollars each year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And a new analysis by First Street Foundation, a nonprofit research and technology group that assesses flood risks, and Arup, a commercial engineering firm, found that retail, office and multi-unit residential properties stand to lose more than $13.5 billion in 2022 from flood damage.

In addition to the direct damage, these businesses would collectively lose 3.1 million days of operation in 2022 as they recover from flood events. The days lost would affect companies' financial stability as well as their employees' income, according to the report.

Click here to read the full article.

Nina impacts flat 620

U.S. Winter Outlook: Drier, Warmer South, Wetter North with Return of La Nina

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, October 21, 2021

Above-average temperatures are favored across the South and most of the eastern U.S. as La Nina climate conditions have emerged for the second winter in a row according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center — a division of the National Weather Service. In NOAA’s 2021 Winter Outlook — which extends from December 2021 through February 2022 — wetter-than-average conditions are anticipated across portions of the Northern U.S., primarily in the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and western Alaska.

Click here to learn more!




FEMA Technical Bulletin 10:

Ensuring that Structures Built on Fill In or Near Special Flood Hazard Areas Are Reasonably Safe From Flooding in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program

This bulletin provides guidance on the construction of buildings on land elevated above the BFE through the placement of fill. Several methods of construction are discussed, and the most prudent—those that result in the entire building being above the BFE—are recommended.

Click here to view a PDF of the Technical Bulletin.


MyCoast: Maine

MyCoast: Maine is a portal for the Maine Geological Survey to collect and analyze pictures and data relating to coastal events. Information collected through this site is used to visualize the impact of coastal hazards and to enhance awareness among decision-makers and stakeholders. Maine's three activities that are being monitored through this tool are king tides, storm reporter, and coastal resilience.

Click here to learn more about this initiative in Maine.

MyCoast is also available in several other states. Click here to learn more.

This New Tool Lets You See Floods From Around the World, Dating Back to 1985

By Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, November 15, 2021

Last month, the United Nations University released a free tool that generates high resolution maps of floods worldwide since 1985. The new resource comes after a year of historic water-related disasters, including severe floods in Western Europe and the northeastern United States. Experts hope the online tool will aid in disaster readiness and future planning, especially for vulnerable countries with limited access to reliable flood maps.

Click here to learn more!


Flood Insurance Corner


What the FLOOD!

Test your knowledge of flood related insurance with this interactive quiz from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The NAIC serves to protect the public interest, promote competitive markets, and improve the state regulation of insurance.

Click here to take the quiz!


Basement Flooding - What's Covered?

As part of FEMA's disaster support outreach, a series of new infographics has been published to assist agents, adjusters, and consumers before and after flooding events.

The Basement Flooding infographic explains how the NFIP defines a basement and highlights specific examples of what is and isn’t covered. Composed of illustrations and plain language, this publication is suitable for all audiences.

Click here to view a PDF of the Basement Flooding infographic.


Climate Corner

Study Projects a Surge in Coastal Flooding, Starting in 2030s

By Carol Rasmussen, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, July 7, 2021.

High-tide floods – also called nuisance floods or sunny day floods – are already a familiar problem in many cities on the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported a total of more than 600 such floods in 2019. Starting in the mid-2030s, however, the alignment of rising sea levels with a lunar cycle will cause coastal cities all around the U.S. to begin a decade of dramatic increases in flood numbers, according to the first study that takes into account all known oceanic and astronomical causes for floods.

Click here to read the full article.

for sale

Real Estate Corner

Saturation Point: NJ Puts Affordable Homes in Flood-Prone Areas — and Residents at Risk

By Ashley Balcerzak,, November 17, 2021

The U.S. is already in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, lacking an estimated 7 million affordable and available units for those living below the poverty line, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit. But more frequent, intense, and deadly flood events due to climate change will exacerbate that shortage — particularly in a state such as New Jersey, which faces some of the highest risks because of sea level rise, river flooding and extreme rain events that overwhelm drainage systems in developed areas.

These dual crises affect everyone, but they hit New Jersey’s most vulnerable and marginalized the hardest. Residents living in subsidized housing often have the fewest resources, are least able to prepare for a natural disaster and face the most challenges collecting public recovery assistance.

Read the full article as featured in the New Jersey Herald.


January Flood Funny

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