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: "ICC Building Safety Leadership Experience"
Real Estate Corner: "Buying and Selling Homes in Flood Zones: What Every Agent Should Know"
In the News: "Risk Rating 2.0: Adjustments Needed" and "When Homes Flood, Who Retreats and to Where? We Mapped Thousands of FEMA Buyouts and Found Distance and Race Play a Role"
Resources: "Overcoming Barriers to Green Infrastructure" and "Protecting Building Utility Systems From Flood Damage"
Climate Corner: "Intensifying Rains Pose Hidden Flood Risks Across the U.S."
History Corner: "The High Tide Storm of 1723: ‘Ye Mightiest Overflowing of Ye Sea'"

Banner Image: Flooding of the Los Angeles River, Los Angeles, California, January 10, 2023. Image by: David Swanson, from "Storms bring mudslides, evacuations to California with more rain forecast", Reuters, January 11, 2023.


Hoping everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July!

~ Nadeau Land Surveys


Maine NFIP Corner

Sue Baker, CFM, State NFIP Coordinator

ICC Building Safety Leadership Experience

Are you interested in having a once in a lifetime experience and getting to know the International Code Council even better? Take a shot and apply to the Building Safety Leadership Experience!

The Building Safety Leadership Experience provides a unique opportunity for members to engage with Code Council members, leaders and stakeholders at the ICC Annual Conference and Expo each year. Participants attend a series of events throughout the conference, learning about Code Council governance, the Chapter program and our Membership Councils. Explore the many ways Code Council Membership can help you become more engaged in the industry, discover new opportunities, and advance your career. Candidates must be 25 years of age or older and be a current ICC member.

Leadership Experience participants will receive complimentary registration to the Annual Conference and will be reimbursed for ground and air transportation, lodging and other miscellaneous travel costs. To be considered, submit your application online by July 15. Applicants may submit up to three letters of support with their completed form.

Click the link below to learn more and apply:
Building Safety Leadership Experience - ICC (iccsafe.org)

If you have any questions, please reach out to Benjamin Breadmore, Town Manager/Chief Building Official, Holden, Maine.

for sale

Real Estate Corner

Buying and Selling Homes in Flood Zones: What Every Agent Should Know

By: Michael Rhoda, Aceable, June 1, 2022

If you represent a seller in a flood zone — and ALL property is in some kind of flood zone — you’ll want to make sure that you and your client are aware of the latest FEMA flood zone status for the property being sold. This can change, so don’t make any assumptions.

When representing a buyer of property located in a flood zone, your professional expertise takes on greater importance. You will know things your clients don’t know, AND you will know when to call in specialists as needed.

Click here to read the full article.


In the News

Risk Rating 2.0: Adjustments Needed

By: Chad Berginnis, CFM, ASFPM New & Views, June 15, 2023

As we noted in 2021, ASFPM [the Association of State Floodplain Managers] believes a new rating system is long overdue and that it is important for property owners to understand their true flood risk through an actuarial sound flood insurance rate. We’re also aware that any new system rollout won’t be perfect right from the start. But we’re now about 18 months in and FEMA should have enough data to begin evaluating the new rating system and correcting deficiencies. ASFPM, for our part, has been listening closely to members who are on the front lines, identifying examples where the rating just doesn’t make sense, and working to identify any trends or ways that the new system doesn’t seem to be very good at communicating risk and the corresponding rates.

Click here to read the full article.


Where homeowners from a single census tract in Middlesex, N.J., retreated following Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Zheye Wang, CC BY-ND

When Homes Flood, Who Retreats and to Where? We Mapped Thousands of FEMA Buyouts and Found Distance and Race Play a Role

By: James R. Elliott and Zheye (Jay) Wang, The Conversation, June 15, 2023

Officials call it “retreat” because the aim is to pull property back from areas of growing risk, whether that risk comes from major hurricanes, rising seas, heavy inland rains or other climate hazards. It is managed in the sense that government officials use cost-benefit formulas to determine where it makes the most financial sense to spend taxpayer money to tear down at-risk homes.

What officials do not assess is where departing homeowners move, or if those moves actually reduce the homeowner’s future risks. That is not the government’s central concern – nor is the risk level at which different homeowners participate or how that might vary across the nation’s racially segregated housing markets. These are the other unknowns of hurricane season and, with them, America’s rising flood risk more generally.

Click here to read the full article.




The Lower Ramble is a dynamic outdoor park located along the Razorback Greenway in Downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas. This project was built to improve the health of the Tanglewood Branch stream corridor. Click the image to learn more about this, and other green infrastructure projects from the Sustainable Sites Initiative.

Overcoming Barriers to Green Infrastructure

Communities across the country are experiencing the benefits of green infrastructure. They have adopted performance standards or incentives promoting green infrastructure while others have built demonstration projects.

This resource from the Environmental Protection Agency identifies some of the barriers to adopting green infrastructure approaches and suggests strategies to overcome them.

Click here to learn more about barriers confronting municipalities and developers, as well as design challenges.


Protecting Building Utility Systems From Flood Damage

This publication illustrates the design and construction of utility systems that comply with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements for construction of new residential and non-residential structures in flood-prone areas. It is also useful when evaluating structures that will undergo Substantial Improvement, guiding users to meet floodplain management regulations and building code requirements. Even if compliance is not required, many building owners may find that applying mitigation measures described in this publication will not only reduce future flood damage, but also facilitate recovery after flooding.

Click here to download a copy of the FEMA publication.

In addition to the obvious benefits of reducing flood damage, the NFIP offers flood insurance discounts if certain covered Machinery & Equipment (M&E) and appliances servicing a building are elevated above a building's first floor! An Elevation Certificate completed by a land surveyor would be used to document these elevations for evaluation by a qualified insurance agent.

Click here to download the FEMA Risk Rating 2.0 Discount Explanation Guide to learn more.


Climate Corner

Intensifying Rains Pose Hidden Flood Risks Across the U.S.

By: Raymond Zhong, Originally featured in The New York Times, June 26, 2023

As climate change intensifies severe rainstorms, the infrastructure protecting millions of Americans from flooding faces growing risk of failures, according to new calculations of expected precipitation in every county and locality across the contiguous United States.

The calculations suggest that one in nine residents of the lower 48 states, largely in populous regions including the Mid-Atlantic and the Texas Gulf Coast, is at significant risk of downpours that deliver at least 50 percent more rain per hour than local pipes, channels and culverts might be designed to drain.

Click here to read the full article on DNyuz.com (no subscription required).


A sketch of Boston several years after the high tide storm, still inundated with water. (Image from article).

History Corner

The High Tide Storm of 1723: ‘Ye Mightiest Overflowing of Ye Sea'

This article from the New England Historical Society shares the accounts of Cotton Mather and Ben Franklin of a historic storm from 300 years ago!

During the High Tide Storm of 1723, the waters rose so high and so fast that worshipers were marooned in their meeting houses. In the Massachusetts towns of Marblehead and Salem, people climbed trees to avoid drowning.

Click here to read the full article!


Image by Marshall Ramsey, featured in "Mississippi Today" February, 17, 2020

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