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 Calling: NPR - March 27, 2023 Episode" and "4-day FEMA Course: "Managing Development Through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)""
Real Estate Corner: "Ignoring Climate Risks Has Inflated Property Values in Flood Zones" and "Five Tips for Talking About Flood Risk with Home Buyers"
In the News: "How ‘Daylighting’ Buried Waterways Is Revitalizing Cities Across America" and "NOAA’s Spring Outlook Points to a Risky Season"
Resources: "Atmospheric Rivers" and "Where We Are Now: A Six-Month Check In on Hurricane Ian"
Climate Corner: "How 4 States Advanced Flood Resilience in 2022"

Banner Image: Cars and homes engulfed by floodwaters in Pajaro, California. Image from "Treacherous flooding is about to get worse in California as another atmospheric river closes in on storm-battered residents" (CNN, 3/13/2023)


Maine NFIP Corner

Sue Baker, CFM, State NFIP Coordinator

Maine Calling: NPR - March 27, 2023 Episode
"Preparation and Response to Flooding, Especially with the Impacts of Climate Change"

In this episode, I am joined by Sam Roy, the Natural Hazards Planner with the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans, and Emergency Management, and Sarah Jamison, Senior Service Hydrologist with NOAA, to discuss flood risk in Maine.

Click here to listen to the 50:41 minute episode on Maine Calling.

4-day FEMA Course: "Managing Development Through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)"

When: 4/18/23 - 4/21/23, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Where: Waterbury, VT
CEUs: 12 CEUs for current CFMs
Cost: Free! But registration required
Click here to register online by 4/7/23.

This 4-day course is a training opportunity for local officials responsible for administering their local floodplain regulations. The course will focus on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and concepts of floodplain management, maps and studies, bylaw administration, and the relationship between floodplain management and flood insurance. This is the field-deployed version of FEMA’s E273 course that is offered at the Emergency Management Institute (EMI).

Preference will be given to Vermont Floodplain Managers but attendees from all over New England and New York are welcome.

Sponsored by FEMA Region 1, Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM), & the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR).

Questions may be directed to Rebecca Pfeiffer, VT NFIP Coordinator:

for sale

Real Estate Corner

Ignoring Climate Risks Has Inflated Property Values in Flood Zones

By: Thomas Frank, E&E News, February 17, 2023

Homebuyers nationwide are ignoring flood risk and paying inflated prices to create a housing bubble that could crash as climate change intensifies flood damage.

A study released Thursday says the climate-driven housing bubble threatens homeowners with plummeting values and municipal governments with losing a big chunk of tax revenue if local property values fall.

The U.S. real estate market fails to account for flood risk because many homebuyers deny climate change and government practices leave homeowners unaware of the potential dangers of inundation, according to the paper in Nature Climate Change.

Click here to read the full article, as featured in Scientific American.


It can flood anywhere it rains -- no location has zero risk. Between 2015 and 2019, 40% of flood claims came from outside high-risk areas.

Five Tips for Talking About Flood Risk with Home Buyers

When a home is located in a high-risk flood area, it doesn’t automatically become unsellable, nor does it mean a buyer should rule it out without weighing the options to protect it. Whether you are buying or selling a home, here are five tips for talking about flood risk and flood insurance with your clients.

Click here to learn more from FloodSmart.


In the News


"A $25 million plan to uncover 1,100 feet of Jordan Creek and build three bridges is moving forward in Springfield, Missouri." (Springfield Department of Public Works)

How ‘Daylighting’ Buried Waterways Is Revitalizing Cities Across America

By: Jim Morrison, Smithsonian Magazine, March 15, 2023

Urban centers are exhuming creeks and streams once covered up to control floodwater—and bringing life back in the process.

Exhuming buried waterways to bring them back to life is a process known as “daylighting.” Concrete culverts and other coverings are removed and an attempt is made to restore the natural flow and the surrounding ecosystem. Prodded partly by increased flooding resulting from more intense and more frequent rainstorms, cities across the country are shining the light on once-dark creeks, streams, brooks and rivers. Boston; Providence, Rhode Island; New York; Berkeley, California; Dubuque, Iowa; Norfolk, Virginia; Detroit; St. Louis; and Charlotte, North Carolina, have all either completed daylighting projects or have them in the works.

Click here to read the full article.

spring noaa

NOAA’s U.S. Spring Outlook highlights temperature, precipitation, drought and flood predictions for April through June to help the nation prepare for potential weather and climate threats to lives and livelihoods.

NOAA’s Spring Outlook Points to a Risky Season

By: Shana Udvardy, The Equation, March 16, 2023

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the US Spring Outlook.

Shana Udvardy, Senior Climate Resilience Policy Analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists offers some key takeaways and some other thoughts on how to reduce flood risks.

Click here to read the full article.

Click here to read NOAA's in-depth report.



atmosphericrivers final

(NOAA, 2015)

Atmospheric Rivers

Anyone reading recent news about extreme weather events in California has probably seen the term "atmospheric river". But what are they? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

Atmospheric rivers are relatively long, narrow regions in the atmosphere – like rivers in the sky – that transport most of the water vapor outside of the tropics. These columns of vapor move with the weather, carrying an amount of water vapor roughly equivalent to the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River. When the atmospheric rivers make landfall, they often release this water vapor in the form of rain or snow.

A well-known example is the "Pineapple Express," a strong atmospheric river that is capable of bringing moisture from the tropics near Hawaii over to the U.S. West Coast.

Click here to learn more!


Where We Are Now: A Six-Month Check In on Hurricane Ian

Core Logic's Hazard HQ Command Central published an on-demand webinar to discuss the trends and observations they have noted regarding Hurricane Ian’s impact on the U.S. in the six months since landfall.

Click here to learn more and view the webinar.
Note, you must first register to view the recording.


Climate Corner

How 4 States Advanced Flood Resilience in 2022

By: Kristiane Huber, The Pew Charitable Trusts, February 22, 2023

Throughout the country, states made great strides in 2022 to advance flood resilience. This included creating offices dedicated to planning for flood risks, funding flood-resistant infrastructure projects, and focusing development in areas less exposed to flood risk. The following states stood out last year by passing new policies, launching programs, and using updated flood data to drive decision-making: South Carolina, Maine, North Carolina, and New Jersey.

Click here to learn more!


April Flood Funny


Illustration by Brendan Totten

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