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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:

Message from Jim
Maine NFIP Corner: A message from Sue Baker, the State NFIP Coordinator - Maine Coastal Program releases its FY2022 Shore and Harbor Planning Grant Program Statement - proposals due May 3rd
In the News: "Tiny Town, Big Decision: What Are We Willing to Pay to Fight the Rising Sea?" and "‘Sea-level Rise Won’t Affect My House’ – Even Flood Maps Don’t Sway Florida Coastal Residents"
Resources: "Sea Level, Storms, and Surges, Oh My!" and "Risk Rating 2.0 - State by State Profiles"
Climate Corner: "NASA Scientists Complete First Global Survey of Freshwater Fluctuation"
NFIP Terminology: Breakaway Wall
Real Estate Corner: "Elevation Certificates: Who Needs Them and Why"

Banner Image: During Hurricane Harvey in 2017, a two-story condominium collapsed as a result of storm surge undermining its foundations. Image from "What Wind And Water Can Do To A Building", AIA.


Message from Jim

On April 6, 2011, Nadeau Land Surveys shared the very first issue of “Welcome to the Flood Zone”, and this month we celebrate our 10th anniversary with Issue 121! We are grateful for the many valuable connections made in the last ten years and are hopeful the newsletter’s national reach will continue to grow. Our diverse audience, which includes real estate, land use, mortgage, and insurance professionals, scientists, and municipal and state officials, is a testament to the broad impact flood has on the public and the many stakeholders providing products and services to strengthen our resiliency to flood risk.

In celebration of our 10th anniversary, a huge thank you must go out to Nikki, our Office Manager and Education Coordinator, who has quietly been the main cog in the newsletter’s production. Without her, I am sure it would not have made this far of a journey. Throughout each month, she scours the media for applicable current events, news articles, and educational resources to improve our readers’ understanding of flood. These efforts, along with her attention to detail and desire to make the newsletter viewer-friendly, are never overlooked by our office staff. Thank you, Nikki!

Flood risk, sea-level rise, and climate change will create ongoing challenges that are most effectively met through stakeholder education, mitigation, and pro-active behavior. The public must also be encouraged and incentivized to participate in its own risk management. The real estate industry, as an example, can strengthen public awareness by creating a stronger connection between flood risk and property value, thereby allowing consumers to make safer, more practical decisions.

Our goal, as we continue to publish each issue of “Welcome to the Flood Zone”, is to create more bridges, encourage the sharing of creative concepts, and build the social connections needed to bring stakeholders together under the common objective of preparing for a future that is certain to face unprecedented challenges. We thank you for your continued interest in this newsletter and this vision!


Maine NFIP Corner

Sue Baker, CFM, State NFIP Coordinator

Maine Coastal Program releases its FY2022 Shore and Harbor Planning Grant Program Statement - proposals due May 3rd

The Maine Coastal Program is currently seeking applications for a new round of coastal grants for FY2022 Shore and Harbor Planning Grants to support municipal and regional projects in Maine’s Coastal Zone.

Proposals are due on Monday, May 3rd, 2021, 5pm. For full details, see the Maine Coastal Program FY2022 Grant Program Statement.


The Maine Coastal Program is a partnership among local, regional, and state agencies for the purpose of managing Maine's coastal resources for the public benefit.

Shore and Harbor Planning Grants promote: sound waterfront planning and harbor management, balanced development of shore and harbor areas, planning for waterfront infrastructure improvements, planning for climate resiliency and access to the shore. Funds may be used for development of plans for waterfront facilities and amenities, harbor and mooring plans, waterfront vulnerability assessments and resiliency plans, development of regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to waterfront conservation and improvement, development of planning studies for public and working access, development of plans and designs for harbor improvements, and development of management plans for municipal waterfront facilities.


Image from the article, “'The waves have washed away all the dunes': Avon, N.C., seeking fix for eroding shoreline" (The Virginian-Pilot, December 3, 2019)

In the News

Tiny Town, Big Decision: What Are We Willing to Pay to Fight the Rising Sea?

By: Christopher Flavelle, The New York Times, March 14, 2021

Bobby Outten, a county manager in the Outer Banks, delivered two pieces of bad news at a recent public meeting. Avon, a town with a few hundred full-time residents, desperately needed at least $11 million to stop its main road from washing away. And to help pay for it, Dare County wanted to increase Avon’s property taxes, in some cases by almost 50 percent.

People gave Mr. Outten their own ideas about who should pay to protect their town: the federal government. The state government. The rest of the county. Tourists. People who rent to tourists. The view for many seemed to be, anyone but them.

Mr. Outten kept responding with the same message: There’s nobody coming to the rescue. We have only ourselves.

Click here to read the full article.

‘Sea-level Rise Won’t Affect My House’ – Even Flood Maps Don’t Sway Florida Coastal Residents

By: Risa Palm and Toby W. Bolsen, The Conversation, February 7, 2020

Effectively communicating flood risk to the public has been an ongoing challenge in creating a climate change-resilient world. What does it take to change perception and behavior? A study performed in southern Florida, where residents were shown their potential flood risk on neighborhood-specific maps, exhibited some interesting results.

Those who saw the maps were no more likely to believe that climate change exists, that climate change increases the severity of storms or that sea level is rising and related to climate change. Even more dramatically, exposure to the scientific map did not influence beliefs that their own homes were susceptible to flooding or that sea level rise would reduce local property values.

Click here to read the full article.




Sea Level, Storms, and Surges, Oh My!

Friends of Casco Bay, an environmental non-profit organization based in South Portland, Maine, had an inspiring and informative conversation at their latest Casco Bay Matters event, "Sea Level, Storms, and Surges, Oh My! How Maine’s Coasts Can Be Resilient to Climate Change". Marine Geologist Peter Slovinsky from Maine Geological Survey joined Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca to illuminate the latest science on rising seas, and how we can work together to make our coastline and waters resilient to climate change.

Click here to watch the presentation on YouTube.

Learn more about the important work of Friends of Casco Bay!

rate class

Each state profile shows the breakdown of NFIP policies in force by rate class, indicating those policyholders who may be most affected by rate increases.

Risk Rating 2.0 - State by State Profiles

As FEMA continues to roll out the Risk Rating 2.0 initiative, more resources are becoming available to learn how it will impact policyholders. A recent addition to the FEMA Media Library are state-by-state profiles of how Risk Rating 2.0 will affect your state. To download your state's profile, go to the State by State Profile page of the FEMA Media Library, type your state name in the search bar, then download the PDF.

Click here to visit the State Profiles page of the FEMA Media Library.

For our local folks, click here to download Maine's Risk Rating 2.0 Profile Sheet.


Climate Corner

NASA Scientists Complete First Global Survey of Freshwater Fluctuation

By: Kate Ramsayer, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, March 3, 2021

To investigate humans’ impact on freshwater resources, scientists have now conducted the first global accounting of fluctuating water levels in Earth’s lakes and reservoirs – including ones previously too small to measure from space.

Scientists used these height measurements to study 227,386 water bodies over 22 months and discovered that, from season to season, the water level in Earth’s lakes and ponds fluctuates on average by about 8.6 inches (22 cm). At the same time, the water level of human-managed reservoirs fluctuate on average by nearly quadruple that amount – about 34 inches (86 cm).

“Understanding that variability and finding patterns in water management really shows how much we are altering the global hydrological cycle,” said Sarah Cooley, a remote sensing hydrologist at Stanford University in California, who led the research. “The impact of humans on water storage is much higher than we were anticipating.”

Click here to read the full article.


The above construction design utilizes lattice underneath an elevated building to allow flood waters to pass through or break away if it can't withstand the force. The stairs' risers are also designed to break away. Designed by Point One Architects.

NFIP Terminology: Breakaway Wall

A breakaway wall is a wall that is not part of the structural support of a building and is intended through its design and construction to collapse under specific lateral loading forces, without causing damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation system. (FEMA, 2011)

For an in-depth look at breakaway walls, check out:
"FEMA Technical Bulletin 9: Design and Construction Guidance for Breakaway Walls Below Elevated Buildings Located in Coastal High Hazard Areas in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program"

for sale

Real Estate Corner

Elevation Certificates: Who Needs Them and Why

If your home or business is in a high-risk area, your insurance agent will likely need an Elevation Certificate (EC) to determine your flood insurance premium.

Floods mean rising water. Knowing your building’s elevation compared to the estimated height of floodwater helps determine your flood risk and the cost of your flood insurance.

An EC documents the elevation of your building for the floodplain managers enforcing local building ordinances and for insurance rating purposes.

Click here to learn more at FloodSmart.gov.


April Flood Funny

april flood funny

Image from Goosehead Insurance/Steve Wills.

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