Below is a compilation of floodplain management related articles that have been published in our Floodplain Management Today quarterly newsletters. These articles cover a wide range of topics from dealing with violations to applying certain parts of local ordinances. We have broken out each article so floodplain administrators and other stakeholders can reference them as resources into the future. For any questions, clarifications, or specific development situations, contact Katie Ringland or Chuck Chase for help. All of the NeDNR staff info can be found on our Contacts page.
Covid-19 Fact Sheets for Floodplain Administrators
The following Fact Sheets issued by FEMA's Office of Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation offer guidance during this unique and trying time of the Covid-19 pandemic:
- Environmental and Historic Preservation and Emergency Protective Measures for COVID-19 offers EHP review process advice and special environmental considerations for temporary facilities that may be established to combat the virus.
- Floodplain Considerations for Temporary Critical Facilities offers guidance on the location of temporary critical facilities (such as hospitals, medical sheltering, and mortuary facilities) as relates to flood hazard areas.
Resources for New Floodplain Administrators
This article introduces new floodplain administrators to a variety of available resources to help them understand their new roles, become familiar with flooding and floodplain management, and know where to find additional resources.
What is a Building?
This article helps explain and elaborate on one of the most crucial pieces of any floodplain management ordinance. Regulating the development of buildings in a community's floodplain is essential to keeping people and property safe from flooding. But, not everything that looks like a building is regulated as such and this article explains what to look for when dealing with permits for buildings.
Elevation Certificates: Updates and Common Issues
This article guides a community official through some of the more common mistakes that are seen when Elevation Certificates are submitted. The article was written by the NFIP Coordinator in North Carolina and is a good reference for reviewing Elevation Certificates.
Basements in Floodplains
Basements are a very common construction method in Nebraska and they can provide tricky development situations in floodplains. This article covers the flood risk aspects of basements, applying floodplain management regulations, understanding Letters of Map Change and how they apply to basements, and understanding basic flood insurance ramifications of basements.
Tracking Floodplain Development in Communities without Building Codes
Many Nebraska communities do not have building codes or zoning codes and the permits associated with them. Thus, floodplain development permits may be the only required permits for buildings. This article outlines some strategies to increase compliance and ensure as many development projects are permitted as possible.
Flood Openings: Resources for Floodplain Managers
Some buildings that are built in floodplains require flood openings to be installed to meet compliance with local floodplain management regulations. This article outlines those requirements, their applicability, and some common items to look for when a building owner requests a floodplain development permit.
A Guide to FEMA Technical Bulletins
FEMA publishes 11 technical bulletins that clarify and explain some aspects of local floodplain management regulations. The technical bulletins are often unknown to floodplain administrators, so this article helps explain the contents of each technical bulletin and when they might come in useful in certain floodplain development situations.
Floodplain Administrators' Roles in Disasters
After a flood or other major disaster, floodplain administrators may have a big and important role to play. Every ordinance contains a provision for buildings that are substantially damaged (by more than 50% of pre-damage value) and require them to be elevated to current compliance levels. This article explains that provision and outlines the appropriate steps that should be taken after a disaster to prepare a community for rebuilding.
Increased Cost of Compliance Coverage
Following up on the article above, the buildings that are required to be elevated after being flooded may cost a homeowner a substantial amount of money. If they are insured through the NFIP, there is a portion of their policy that provides up to $30,000 to elevate, demolish, or remove a structure that has to be brought into compliance. Floodplain administrators play a role in helping a policyholder access that money and this article explains the process and what local officials need to know.
Violations and Enforcement: Part I
Often, floodplain administrators will encounter violations of their local floodplain management ordinance. These can be difficult situations to deal with and will require an established process, in addition to patience and empathy toward the property owner. This article is the first part of a series on dealing with violations.
Violations and Enforcement: Part II
This article follows up from the article above and highlights some enforcement solutions that community officials can use to help achieve compliance.
Many communities see property owners wanting to construct sheds and other low value structures on individual lots. Floodplain management regulations can complicate these low value structures and often make them prohibitive to build. FEMA Region VII has provided guidance on creating a separate class of buildings that can be added to a local ordinance to allow appurtenant (or accessory) structures to be constructed with the lowest floor below BFE with appropriate flood venting.
Grandfathering and the Newly Mapped Procedure
This article covers grandfathering in flood insurance and good information for floodplain administrators. The article also covers "newly-mapped policies," which are relatively new to the NFIP that allow policyholders to obtain a newly-mapped policy when a new FIRM goes into effect to lessen the impact of an increase in flood insurance premiums.
Requesting Information for an Approved LOMA
Property owners often have LOMAs on their property and want to do further work to the buildings on site. Floodplain administrators often need a tool to check which part of the property has been removed from the SFHA in order to ensure floodplain management regulatiosn are being met. This article covers how floodplain administrators can go about obtaining the supporting data in LOMA submittals.