Floodplains and Flooding

Understanding flood zones: Jim Nadeau, Nadeau Land Surveys
Jim Nadeau’s Presentation (6 MB PDF)
Beach communities located in a Special Flood Hazard Area according to the National Flood Insurance Program are subject to stricter regulations than their inland neighbors in terms of planning, development, and insurance rating, but that does not necessarily mean inland residents are better protected from flood risk. An understanding of flood zones is essential to staying safe, reducing property damage from flooding, and having adequate insurance coverage. Horizontally-scaled Coastal Flood Zone delineations impact insurance requirements. Even communities that are located on higher elevation or behind immediate shorefront property can be impacted by storm surge and wave activity. In fact, their risk is actually higher due to less stringent building standards outside the Coastal V Zone, and because many are not required to obtain mandatory flood insurance based on FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps. We will discuss inaccuracies with the flood maps, use of current technology in coastal planning, and how to best prepare for future changes in the flood zones.

Understanding the National Flood Insurance Program: Sue Baker, Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry
Sue Baker’s Presentation (4 MB PDF)
It is important for coastal property owners to understand the National Flood Insurance Program and how the regulatory development standards and flood insurance requirements may affect them. Information discussed includes how the NFIP works in general, what type of development standards are necessary as improvements are made to the structure/property, and flood insurance requirements, including an overview of the insurance changes that will become effective due to the passage of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

Storm surge impacts: Peter Slovinsky, Maine Geological Survey
Peter Slovinsky’s Presentation (1 MB PDF)
NOAA tidal station in Portland has been recording water levels for the past 100 years, one of the longest continuously operating stations in the United States. The Maine Geological Survey recently analyzed hourly and daily-averaged recorded data from the tidal station over the past 100 years (1912-2012), and has determined some interesting trends on long and short-term sea-level rise, seasonal sea level changes, historic storm surge levels, and overall historic total water levels (combined tides and surges). This presentation will explore the latest findings from Portland’s tidal data, with a focus on historic storm surges and overall water levels.

Session Notes (PDF)