Welcome to the Flood Zone! A nationally distributed resource for those interested in flood zone issues, land surveying, real estate, history, and edu

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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.

Jim Headshot

Message from Jim

Have you seen “Before the Flood”, a 2016 National Geographic Channel documentary about the dramatic effects of climate change? The documentary begins with a painting titled “Garden of Earthly Delights”, created by Hieronymus Bosch around 1515. Though this triptych painting is of religious basis and is generally thought to convey a warning of the dangers of giving into temptation, it is used in the documentary to emphasize society’s poor habits and excess needs as a large contributor to climate change. Our temptations have put the planet in peril.

Though the film consists of many valid points on the negative impact of an industrialized world and growing population, viewer comments did not overlook that the celebrity spokesperson, Leonardo DiCaprio, is travelling the world in his carbon emitting private jet to complain about global warming, or express that climate change is out of our control, or is not occurring at all. Some commentary inferred the documentary was nothing more than a famous actor talking about a fictitious problem.

These very differing sides have come to be expected on any topic of value. For me, it is not hard to take the side that climate change is occurring, but this message is not about my opinion on climate change. It is the about the changes that are occurring to our planet regardless of cause, which each of us need to acknowledge and take responsibility for, so we can understand how to slow the negative processes down. Flood damages will increase substantially if we stay on our current path.

This process starts with education and a behavior change. Floods impact so many parts of our lives ranging from financial, social, physical, psychological, emotional, etc. and will continue to worsen. The impacts of flooding events can be either lessened or eliminated through improved mitigation, preparation, and resiliency strategies. This is where our focus needs to be; arguing over the cause is not the solution.

We are required to acknowledge a problem before it can be fixed. Take responsibility, so you can start to help fix the problem. Waiting for someone else to fix the problem will always be part of the problem. Believing that you can have little positive impact is no excuse to do nothing. You can have results or excuses, but not both.



Flood Insurance Policy Lapse & Reinstatement: Information for Insurance Agents

Check out FEMA's fact sheet on policy lapse and reinstatement to learn four reasons your clients should renew their flood insurance policy each year, including avoiding potential loss of pre-FIRM subsidized rates!

Flood Insurance - What You and Your Clients Should Know Before Closing

FEMA came out with a new guide to help real estate professionals inform both buyers and sellers on flood risk to help "complete a sale with fewer unwelcome surprises."

Read more!

elevated bulding2

Flood Terminology: Elevated Building

An Elevated Building has no basement and has its lowest elevated floor raised above ground level by foundation walls, shear walls, posts, piers, pilings, or columns. Solid (perimeter) foundations walls are not an acceptable means of elevating buildings in V and VE zones.


The Southern Portion of the Lower Penobscot HUC-8 Risk MAP project area.


New Floodplain Mapping Project Underway!

We are pleased to announce our participation in an upcoming Floodplain Mapping Project, in collaboration with the Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry's Floodplain Management Program and AECOM Technical Services. This project, once completed, will result in GIS-based updated flood risk maps for 25 communities within the Southern Portion of the Lower Penobscot, including Bangor, Bradley, Brewer, Carmel, Clifton, Corinth, Dixmont, Eddington, Etna, Exeter, Glenburn, Hampden, Hermon, Holden, Kenduskeag, Levant, Milford, Newburgh, Old Town, Orono, Orrington, Penobscot Indian Nation, Plymouth, Stetson, and Veazie. The project is currently anticipated to be completed in 2019.

Upcoming Continuing Education Class

We will be offering our Maine Real Estate Commission-approved "Land Surveying, Flood Zones, and Real Estate" course to agents at The Maine Real Estate Network, on November 15th, 2016, 9:00 AM - Noon, at the South Portland office. If you are an agent at this firm and would like to attend, you can sign up through TMREN's training calendar.

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Storm surge forecast from ABC News, 10/7/2016

In the News

Matthew Provides a Lesson on Storm Surge

By Mary Landers, Savannah Now, October 15, 2016

In a recent article about the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in Georgia, an important point has been raised: storm predictions are predictions at best, and how those predictions are interpreted and broadcast, is of utmost importance. What does it mean if a storm surge is described as "height above the mean high water level" or "height above ground" and how do we know what the elevation of the "ground" being measured is?!

"When reading the tide gauge, keep in mind that its zero point is 11 feet below the "Mean Higher High Water" line that's the starting point for measuring inundation," said Chuck Watson, a Savannah-based hazards researcher.

Even seasoned meteorologists can mix this up. Weather Underground mistakenly reported that Matthew's "highest recorded storm surge was 7.8 feet above the ground in Fort Pulaski." The Washington Post repeated the error in its coverage earlier this week. Some local meteorologists got mixed up during the storm, too, at one point forgetting to subtract that 11 feet and suggesting that there could be more than 16 feet of storm surge.

The extra water that piled up at Pulaski did measure a maximum of 7.8 feet above the predicted tide, but that's not the same as 7.8 feet above the ground level there. It was 5.1 feet above the ground level there, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported earlier this week."

Read the article to learn more about how interpretations of weather data have caused confusion and what actions are being taken to better predict the impact of coastal storms.

NOTE: Mean higher high water or tidal datums are used to reference local water levels and should not be extended into areas having differing oceanographic characteristics." (NOAA)

Global Sea Levels Are Rising Fast, So Where Does That Leave The Cities Most At Risk?

By Amy Lieberman, The Guardian, October 14, 2016

The severe risk of climate change and rising sea levels on urban areas has not been addressed in the UN's proposed New Urban Agenda, so flood-risk cities will have to learn from each other and share solutions.

The New Urban Agenda is a global, non-binding plan that aims to promote socially and environmentally sustainable cities.

Read more!

1913 Great Lakes storm wave

Image of a wave crashing along the shore of Lake Michigan.

On this Day in History...

November 9, 1913 is said to be the worst out of a 5-day storm remembered as one of the deadliest to hit the Great Lakes region. Also referred to as "The Big Blow", "The White Hurricane", and "The Freshwater Fury", this storm was a blizzard with hurricane-force winds. It claimed more than 250 lives, wrecked 19 ships and stranded 19 others. During the night, the storm became what modern meteorologists call a "weather bomb". Hurricane-speed winds of more than 70 mph ravaged the four western lakes. The worst damage was done on Lake Huron as numerous ships scrambled for shelter along its southern end. Gusts of 90 mph (140 km/h) were reported off Harbor Beach, Michigan.


November Flood (Not So) Funny

When we reflect on what we're thankful for this month (and always), let's not forget those who have lost so much during recent natural disasters. Many will be without a warm home and a solid roof over their heads during this holiday season. Hold your loved ones close, and make the most of what you have!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, from Nadeau Land Surveys!!


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