Thursday, August 13, 2015

September 1 and 2 Bennington County - Flood Insurance Meetings

The Bennington County maps showing high risk flood hazard areas will officially change on December 2. Two open house events are scheduled for people that want to learn more about flood risk, flood insurance and the effect of the map update.  

Is your house or business in a hazard area?   This is a particularly important question for buildings that are identified as at a high risk on the December map but not at high risk on the older map.

FEMA Flood Information Open House Events are scheduled for:
• Tuesday September 1, 4-6:30 pm Manchester at the Spiral Press CafĂ©, 15 Bonnet Street, and
• Wednesday September 2, 4 -7 pm Bennington at the Bennington Free Library, 101 Silver Street

At these events Bennington county residents can meet one-on-one with Federal and State officials to identify if their building is in a Special Flood Hazard Area.   FEMA insurance specialists will be on hand to discuss flood insurance requirements and opportunities to make your building safer and less costly to insure.

Getting insurance now, before the map change to “grandfather the old zone” may be an important opportunity in situations where the older maps show a building to be outside the Special Flood Hazard Area and the new map shows it in.

The new December 2015 flood maps can be viewed on the Flood Ready Atlas: tinyurl.com/floodreadyatlas .   Use Flood Ready Tools to “Find Address” and “Toggle Flood Data On”.  

The older maps can be viewed on FEMA’s Map Service Center www.msc.fema.gov .

These open house events for flood resiliency are provided to help residents understand flood risks as shown on the new Bennington County Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map and to take steps to reduce the risk of flood damage to families, buildings and communities.

Live in Bennington County? Check the New Flood Map! (6/9/15)





Monday, August 10, 2015

9/24 Demystifying Floodplain Maps: Real Estate Course

Demystifying FEMA and Floodplain Maps and Vermont’s Use Value Appraisal Program
 4 Continuing Education Credits, $75, Rutland

Demystifying FEMA and Floodplain Maps
Learn about the ins and outs of flood hazard and river corridor maps with Ned Swanberg from the VT Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Rivers Program. Ned will demonstrate how to access and interpret map data, understand NFIP insurance requirements, municipal and state regulations, flood mitigation opportunities for buildings and strategies to help communities reduce losses from flooding and channel erosion.

Vermont’s Use Value Appraisal Program
In order to encourage the use of land for agricultural production or forest management, the state of Vermont adopted policy that allows farmers and foresters to enroll their land in the Current Use program in 1978. The land is then taxed at the use value rather than the fair market value – so the land is appraised at what it is used for, rather than what it could be sold for at the highest market value. Now about 1/3 of Vermont’s total land area is enrolled in Current Use. Because the program helps many of Vermont’s farms stay in business and resist the financial lure of selling land into development, Rural Vermont has defended and helped strengthen Current Use throughout its existence. This course will provide Real Estate professionals with the information they need to share options regarding land with current use eligibility as well as the responsibilities, potential penalties, and the many benefits of Current Use enrollment to property buyers and sellers.

  • When: Thursday, September 24, 2015
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
  • Where: College of St. Joseph at 71 Clement Road, Rutland, VT (St. Joseph Hall Room 105) 

The Rutland Natural Resources Conservation District and Lake Champlain Sea Grant Program are offering 4 credits of Continuing Education approved by the VT Real Estate Commission - Demystifying FEMA and Floodplain Maps and (2 hours) and Vermont’s Use Value Appraisal Program (2 hours).

Fee is $75.00 per person. Fee includes coffee, bagels, pastries, juice and credits
*Note: Courses with fewer than 10 pre-registered attendees may be postponed or cancelled

For more information, contact Nanci McGuire at 802-775-8034 x.117 or nanci.mcguire@vt.nacdnet.net


Registration Form

Demystifying FEMA and Floodplain Maps and Vermont’s Use Value Appraisal Program
Continuing Education Course June 5, 2015 at College of St. Joseph (St. Joseph Hall Room 105) 71 Clement Rd., Rutland, VT

Pre-registration required by September 11, 2015. Payment is required at time of registration.

If more than one person is attending from the same office, please register separately

Name:

Address:

Agency/Business:

Phone:  

E-mail:


Amount Enclosed: ($75.00 per person)



PLEASE make checks payable to RNRCD and mail checks and registration to RNRCD, 170 South Main St., Suite 4, Rutland, VT 05701.


Monday, July 20, 2015

FEMA 4-day Course: Introductory Floodplain Management Class to be Offered in Portsmouth, NH 9/28-10/1/2015

ASFPM is co-sponsoring the FEMA Emergency Management Institute (EMI) 273 course in Portsmouth, NH with FEMA Region I and the New Hampshire Office of Energy & Planning in September. This course is designed to provide an organized training opportunity for local officials responsible for administering their local floodplain management ordinance. The course will focus on the NFIP and concepts of floodplain management, maps and studies, ordinance administration, and the relationship between floodplain management and flood insurance.

A separate (optional) CFM exam will be held on Friday, October 2nd. Course attendance is NOT required to sit for the CFM exam. Please see details below for more information.

COST: Course attendance is FREE, but registration is required. Attendees are responsible for their own travel, lodging, and meal expenses.   

COURSE REGISTRATION:  
Registration deadline: September 1, 2015. To register for the course, please follow instructions in the course flyer.

QUESTIONS?
Please contact Jennifer Gilbert at 603-271-1762 or jennifer.gilbert@nh.gov




CFM Exam* (optional)
October 2, 2015, 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Portsmouth, NH

Separate registration and fee required to sit for the CFM Exam. Exam applications and fee must be submitted to ASFPM not later than September 23, 2015 in order to sit for the exam on October 2, 2015.
*CFM exam is optional, and a separate registration and fee are required to sit for the CFM exam.  Note: The 273 course is not a CFM Exam prep course; takers should not expect to pass the exam without additional study of materials found at the CFM Exam Preparation Guide.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Interactive Flood Inundation Mapper Released for Waterbury

The USGS Flood Inundation Mapper now includes data for Waterbury Village, Vermont.   This web-based map tool allows you to see the extent of upcoming flooding based on flood predictions from the National Weather Service.

This is the first demonstration of the USGS Flood Inundation Mapper in Vermont and it will be particularly helpful in emergency situations.  The National Weather Service already has a NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service page for Waterbury that predicts how high the river will get (stage) and describes where the water will spread.  The new USGS Flood Inundation Mapper will work together with the NWS page to visually illustrate the buildings, roads and services that will be affected during specific flood events.

Zoom to Waterbury, Vermont and click on the triangle.


USGS has also released an updated study of flood hazards in Waterbury.  This new study uses fresh information about river flows and improved landscape information covering the area north of Main Street.   The FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map in effect now used flood information up through 1998.

Flood maps for the Winooski River in Waterbury, Vermont, Scott Olson 2014: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5077.  

On the Waterbury Flood Inundation Mapper – the extent of flooding at the 429 foot stage just exceeds the USGS calculation for the extent of the one percent annual chance flood.

In April 2015 Waterbury also received an independent study commissioned by the Lake Champlain Basin Program:

Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Floodplain Protection Activities in Waterbury, Vermont and Willsboro, New York, Lake Champlain Basin, U.S.A.R. Schiff, S. Bighinatti, E. Fitzgerald, N. Wahlund, D. Carlton, A. Church, J. Louisos, and B. Cote, Milone and MacBroom, Inc.; Fitzgerald Environmental Associates; Earth Economics, and DK Carlton and Associates. April 2015.

One page summary: Floodplain Management Economics Fact Sheet, Waterbury, Vermont.

This Lake Champlain Basin Program study looked at mapped flood hazards as well as trends affecting future flooding.  This thorough study was particularly attentive to the costs and benefits for communities like Waterbury to plan and create an affordable flood resilient future.




Thursday, June 18, 2015

New Technical Support Hotline for Flood Insurance Claims

Technical Support Hotline 

National Flood Insurance Program policyholders, who have questions about their flood insurance policy or the claims process, and disaster survivors, who have general questions about the National Flood Insurance Program, can contact the Technical Support Hotline / Call Center by:

When calling, please have the following information available:

  • Contact information (name, telephone number or email address, if applicable)
  • Policy number
  • Name of flood insurance carrier
  • The nature of your request

This information will help the representative answer your questions quickly and efficiently.
Please see our fact sheet for more information about this technical support hotline.


Two other NFIP sites that may be helpful to you:

www.FloodSmart.gov
consumer information about flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program; and

FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) 

providing map specialists to support inquiries on how to find and read flood maps, preliminary flood hazard data, Letters of Map Change, Elevation Certificates, and the National Flood Hazard Layer.

Contact a Map Specialist:




Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Live in Bennington County? - Check the New Flood Map !

On December 2, 2015 the new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map will go into effect covering Bennington County, Vermont.  If you live in or near a floodplain you should check the map to see what level of risk has been identified for your building.

The Special Flood Hazard Areas (Zone A and AE) on the new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) can be viewed on the Flood Ready Atlas tinyurl.com/floodreadyatlas.   Choose "Flood Ready Tools" then "Zoom to Address" and "Toggle Flood Data On".

Special Flood Hazard Areas include areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding.  This is more than a 1 in 4 chance over the period of a 30 year mortgage.  Some parts of the mapped floodplain get flooded more frequently and are subject to high velocity flows.

The current FIRMs (made town by town) will expire in December.  They can be viewed online (as .pdfs) at the FEMA Map Service Center www.msc.fema.gov   You can make a small official FIRMette map and plot the location of your building from mapped road intersections.

Check the maps to determine if your building is at risk of damage from the base flood.   Federal law requires lenders to ensure that any mortgages or loans to buildings in the high risk SFHA have insurance to at least cover the mortgage, the value of the building, or the total amount available from the National Flood Insurance Program (whichever is lowest).

If your building was built before the first municipal Flood Insurance Rate Map (late 1970's), and your structure will become identified as being at high risk for the first time, you should learn about "grandfathering your flood zone".  To grandfather your flood zone you would need to buy a flood insurance policy before the map change and then maintain the policy going forward.  This would give you an opportunity to grandfather the lower risk / lower cost Zone X status on the basis of "continuity of coverage".

There will be public meetings in the fall to discuss flood insurance, grandfathering, and how to make buildings less vulnerable to damage and less costly to insure.

Bennington County has over 600 families as well as educational, government and critical facilities in the high risk flood zone.

Across the county (and the state) the Town of Bennington has the most structures in the Special Flood Hazard Area, around 480 (8% of all buildings in town).

Overall there seem to be around 450 buildings that may be indicated as in the high risk flood hazard area (Zone A, AE, AO) for the first time.  Approximately 350 have been newly identified as in the low to moderate risk Zone X.

The towns with the most structures that have been newly identified as at high risk include Bennington, Pownal, Arlington, Manchester and Dorset.

Watch for updates regarding insurance meetings in the fall.

Friday, March 27, 2015

ASFPM call for Award Nominations, Due 3/31



A recent announcement from the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM).  My understanding is that they are still looking for nominations:


Every year at our national conference, ASFPM bestows awards to deserving floodplain managers/programs/outreach activities.
Do you know of a state or local floodplain manager deserving of one of ASFPM's annual awards?




Every year at our national conference, we bestow awards to deserving floodplain managers/programs/outreach activities. We still need nominations for the Tom Lee State Award for Excellence, James Lee Witt Local Award for Excellence, and the Outreach/Media Award. Clickhttp://www.floods.org/index.asp… to learn about the award descriptions, and here http://www.floods.org/awardsform.asp for nomination instructions. Deadline is March 31.