Changes to Alabama Flood Maps Impacts to Flood Insurance. Presented By: Leslie A. Durham, P.E. ADECA Office of Water Resources January 23, 2014. Impacts of Flood Events. Flooding is not just a coastal concern…. Coastal Flooding. Riverine Flooding. Why Update Flood Maps?.
Changes to Alabama Flood Maps Impacts to Flood Insurance Presented By: Leslie A. Durham, P.E. ADECA Office of Water Resources January 23, 2014
Impacts of Flood Events Flooding is not just a coastal concern…. Coastal Flooding Riverine Flooding
Why Update Flood Maps? Need for new flood maps due to: Growth Development Urbanization Better delineation of Base Flood Elevations: Advances in technology New elevation data Updated flood studies Before Map Update Risk Map
Benefits of Map Changes Better risk identification and accuracy help property owners make more informed decisions!
Impacts of Map Changes ‘Mapped In’ ‘Mapped Out’ Flood risk increased Mandatory purchase of flood insurance Insurance costs may rise to reflect true risk Savings options: PRP Extension Grandfathering Flood risk reduced, but not eliminated Flood insurance is optional, but recommended Convert to low-cost Preferred Risk coverage
Implementing Map Changes Making it all work together…. Property owner has a 45-day period to work with his insurance agent to produce a standard flood insurance policy – that most times is significantly less expensive than force placed policies
Alabama Flood Map Updates FEMA’s Map Modernization Program OWR digitally updated all 67 counties Mapped over 43,000 miles of floodplain Model based Zone As with elevations Changed scheme from a community based map into a countywide FIRM FEMA’s Risk MAP Program 13 watershed-based projects Increased focus on identifying and communicating flood risk Encouraging mitigation actions to reduce flood risk
Mobile County Update Detailed Studies – Zone AE 570 miles of detailed study 35 miles of “updated” detailed studies Approximate Studies – Zone A 47 miles of “updated” approximate study 202 miles of new approximate study Coastal Studies 100 miles of detailed coastal studies
Baldwin County Update Detailed Studies – Zone AE 191 miles of detailed study 38 miles of “updated” detailed studies 55 miles of new detailed studies Approximate Studies – Zone A 442 miles of “updated” approximate study Coastal Studies 111 miles of detailed coastal studies
Why Update Coastal Maps? Effective Studies are out of date 4 to 6 feet BFE difference Baldwin County Flood Insurance Study Surge Elevations Revised 1983 Wave Elevations Revised June 2002 Mobile County Flood Insurance Study Surge & Wave Elevations Revised 1983
Coastal Hazard Analysis Coastal BFE on FIRMS include: Storm Surge Stillwater elevation (SWEL) Amount of wave setup Wave height above SWEL Wave run-up above SWEL (if applicable; occurs at dunes, structures, cliffs etc) Determined from storm surge model
Two Phased Approach Still Water Elevation + Wave Height = Coastal BFE Phase I (NWFWMD) ADCIRC/Wave Setup Storm Surge Modeling Still Water Elevation Phase II (AL OWR) Overland Wave Modeling Wave Height
What is Coastal Storm Surge? Phase I determines Still Water Elevation (SWEL) above Normal Tide Phase I Model Components: ADCIRC Modeling Validation Storm Selection Major storms with data Synthetic Storm Simulation JPM-OS – models the effects and probabilities of simulated storms
Coastal Hazard Analysis Phase II is the analysis to determine wave action on FIRMs Modeling Setup Transect Layout Field Reconnaissance Obstruction carding Primary frontal dune delineation WHAFIS Modeling Wave Height Analysis for Flood Insurance Studies Combines wave heights over land and SWEL at each transect to produce combined elevations Wave run-up analysis Maximum vertical extent of waves on a coastal feature (dune, structure, cliff, etc.) Combined with WHAFIS results to predict BFEs at each transect (higher elevation = BFE)
SchedulingUpdate Storm Surge Modeling Complete: January 16, 2014 Overland Wave Analysis (Transect Modeling): July 2014 Coastal and Riverine Mapping: January 2015 Flood Risk Review/Resilience Meetings: June 2015 Preliminary Maps: July 2015 Post DFIRM meeting/Open Houses: August 2015 Public Comment: Winter 2015 Effective Maps: Summer 2016
Coastal Outreach Plan Who? Community Floodplain Mangers Local Community Officials Industry #1 – Developers, Engineers, and Builders Industry #2 – Real Estate, Insurance, and Lenders General Public Media How? Informational Brochures specific to target audience www.southeastcoastalmaps.com www.adeca.alabama.gov/floods When? Scoping Modeling Phase Map Production Phase Preliminary Maps Effective Maps What Message? Customized status update for each County for each phase of the study process Why is the flood update important to me? (industries and general public) How can I participate?
Take Away for Property Owners Flood Risk Changes Over Time– Become Flood Aware Get an Elevation Certificate Make sure your home is rated at the correct elevation Work with Insurance Agent to determine correct rating and policy You do have options! Inquire about cost saving options Understand your policy Take action to reduce your risk Elevate heating and cooling units Install flood vents or break-away walls Inquire with local officials about mitigation opportunities Educate yourself about flood risk and changes in your floodplain Property improvements should take new flood risk into consideration, not just rely on old effective flood map If located just outside of mapped floodplain, consider PRP policy www.floodsmart.gov
Cost Saving Options Preferred Risk Eligibility Extension Addresses the financial burden of mandatory purchase requirements for policy holders in newly mapped areas Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) coverage has been extended to include any building newly mapped into floodplain after October 1, 2008 Property must meet eligibility requirements Up to 2 years coverage under this rate Annual increases under Biggert Waters Grandfathering Allows premium benefits after changes in map zones or compliance standards Current flood insurance policy Built in compliance with previous FIRM Potential Biggert Waters impacts
Take Away for Communities Flood Map Changes are coming….Prepare now Consider joining CRS or increasing your activities Identify and apply for FEMA grants for flood mitigation projects Only 1 flood mitigation grant application statewide in 2013 Stay current on project status Be involved in the process www.southeastcoastalmaps.com www.adeca.alabama.gov/floods Alabama Flood Risk Information System (AL FRIS) Consider increasing freeboard amounts in ordinance Some areas will see increases based on preliminary storm surge results Be proactive about identifying property that could be impacted by new studies
Contact Info Leslie Durham, PE Chief, Floodplain Management Unit ADECA Office of Water Resources Leslie.Durham@adeca.alabama.gov 334-242-5506