Do You Have "Flood Zone Issues"? GNI Can Help!

September 2009:
FEMA updates Montgomery County Flood Maps placing hundreds of properties in the 100 year flood zone. This map change requires property owners to obtain costly flood insurance and increases costs for new construction.

Flood Elevation Image

Here's How We Can Help:

  • Elevation Certificate for Existing Dwellings:
    We can do the surveying required for a FEMA Elevation Certificate. This determines the relationship of the elevation of a structure to the flood elevation. It can prove that the building is above the flood elevation and hence "out of the flood zone" or if not, how far below the flood elevation it is, which will help obtain a realistic rate on the insurance if it is required. For example, a home with a lowest floor 5' below the flood elevation requires more costly insurance than one that is only 1' below it. The Elevation Certificate is also the required first step in proving the flood elevation shown on the maps is incorrect.
  • Elevation Certificate For New Construction:
    For a building permit, an elevation certificate for the proposed building and a plat showing the building site in relation to the flood zone limits and the property boundary and building setback lines is required. The elevation of the ground at the site must be shown as well as the creek bottom and banks at the point closest to the building site. When the building is complete, in order to obtain a certificate of occupancy, another Elevation Certificate is required to prove the building was constructed at the correct elevation (a minimum of 1' above the flood elevation). Gay and Neel, Inc. can provide all these services.
  • Determine the Base Flood Elevation:
    If the property is in "Zone A", the maps do not show a flood elevation and one must be determined to know where the building may be built. We can do that for them too. This also is needed to show if the flood maps are incorrect and help to...
  • Obtain a FEMA Letter of Map Amendment, Or "LOMA"
    If the zone limits on the flood map are shown wrong, resulting in an unrealistic flood elevation, we can help by doing the work required to get a "Letter of Map Amendment" from FEMA (called a "LOMA"). This is used to prove to the lenders and insurance agents that flood insurance is not needed. The LOMA can be for the house only, the house and part of the property or the entire parcel of land. Based on our experience, it is not uncommon on these new flood maps for the flood zone to be unrealistically large. The elevations used to determine them are based on the County LiDAR mapping, and we have seen elevation errors on the order of 5' in the LiDAR data. A 5' elevation error in the LiDAR data can be very costly to someone paying $1,000 a year for flood insurance for the life of a 30 year mortgage!