Condo Media - August 2020 - 30

The Region

MAINE

Get
Ready
Gale Flags
are Flying

[by Jack Carr, P.E., RS, LEED-AP]

Is your condo or HOA ready
for a climate change future?
Currently, we are in the middle of a
hurricane season predicted to be one
of the worst in recent times in terms of
both frequency and severity of storms.
Prior to June, when the hurricane season started, Maine's Superintendent of
Insurance, Eric Cioppa, recommended
homeowners purchase flood insurance
this year even for those unit properties
historically considered to be outside
the federally designated flood zones.
This comes after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
reported flood claim data since 2014
showing 40 percent of claims generated
outside of the high-risk flood areas.
RISING SEA LEVELS
AND TIDAL SURGES
The real problem is that future climate
changes will cause rising sea levels and
monster storms like Hurricane Sandy.
Most Vermont condo owners gave very
little thought to water damage caused
by a hurricane, yet Hurricane Sandy
caused wide-spread damage deep
into the state. Most property owners
along the southern New England shore
would not have thought a storm with

30

CONDOMEDIA August 2020

maximum gusts of only 94 mph would
have caused so much water damage to
properties located in protected harbors
and inlets, yet it has been found longduration storms - like Hurricane Sandy
- can cause massive tidal surges well
inland. These new mega storms have
radically changed the methods by which
experts predict storm damage.
The latest published flood maps
supposedly provide some assurance of
reliability due to highly accurate topological maps created by aerial photography. However, these flood maps do
not confirm your particular building's
relationship to future high water from
rising ocean surges or the swelling of
inland rivers and streams. These maps
can paradoxically provide a false sense
of security while giving insurance companies inaccurate data causing them
to overcharge for flood insurance. For
this reason, before the community's
board or unit owner rushes out to buy
flood insurance, it may be prudent to
check with local land surveyors or civil

engineers to confirm the local municipality has your property in the correct
flood risk zone.
If a potential flood zoning error is
found for your property, your only relief
is to file a Letter of Map Adjustment
(LOMA) with FEMA. A licensed land
surveyor or professional engineer can
make a topographical survey of the condo's property and determine the elevation of the corners of the building above
the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and
locate the building on the topographic
site plan using GPS coordinates. With
this site plan, photos, and other data,
your surveyor can file a complicated
federal form with FEMA requesting
a LOMA. If you are successful, a few
weeks later a LOMA will be sent to
you granting the requested re-zoning.
RISK MANAGEMENT
CONSIDERATIONS
Insurance planning should be supplemented with both storm and non-flood
disaster planning. Different types of



Condo Media - August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - August 2020

Contents
Condo Media - August 2020 - Intro
Condo Media - August 2020 - Cover1
Condo Media - August 2020 - Cover2
Condo Media - August 2020 - Contents
Condo Media - August 2020 - 2
Condo Media - August 2020 - 3
Condo Media - August 2020 - 4
Condo Media - August 2020 - 5
Condo Media - August 2020 - 6
Condo Media - August 2020 - 7
Condo Media - August 2020 - 8
Condo Media - August 2020 - 9
Condo Media - August 2020 - 10
Condo Media - August 2020 - 11
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Condo Media - August 2020 - Cover4
Condo Media - August 2020 - Cover3
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