Author Topic: Flood plains - how can I evaluate risk and convince DH  (Read 570 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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Flood plains - how can I evaluate risk and convince DH
« on: January 26, 2018, 08:05:13 AM »
There is an area about an hour south of where my DH and I live that is a great rental market (good renter pool, lower RE prices than our area) that I would like to further explore.

However, some areas of the town are prone to flooding and my DH used to work assigning temporary staff placements in that area around the time it was impacted by a hurricane and many people he worked with were impacted. Every time I bring up investigation of this city as a potential next rental for us, he basically is like "BUT IT FLOODS ALL THE TIME" and that is all he wants to talk about. I have tried to tell him that 1) just because there was flooding doesn't mean there will be a hurricane yearly 2) we can buy insurance 3) a flood make make roads impassable but not necessarily damage your house, but to no avail.

Now, I also don't want to buy in a flood plain but am of the opinion it can flood anywhere, you can only mitigate the risk (ie 100-year flood plain vs 5-year) and buy insurance (which costs a fortune in high-risk areas). I have tried to look at government flood plain maps for the area but found them almost incomprehensible.

Can anyone suggest to me how I can get data on what areas are likely to flood in the town and then use this to convince him which areas are lower risk for flooding? Last night was probably the 10th time in the past year we've had this same conversation.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Flood plains - how can I evaluate risk and convince DH
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 08:32:36 AM »
My County has a nice GIS mapping system online that includes 100-year floodplain overlay and floodway overlay. Floodway is what you want to avoid. Dig around on your County website. I'd be surprised if something is not there.

I lived in a home in the 100-year floodplain for 14 years. In 2010, we experienced the worst flood in well over 100 years. My home did not flood one bit. While homes in supposedly "dry" areas had thousands in damage.  Further, 100-year in a riverine environment is a different animal than 100-year on coastal.

A bigger issue is what codes will allow you to do to a home in the 100-year. In my area, it is very hard to add-on or otherwise significantly improve a property in the 100-year. We were only able to do an interior remodel. To do an addition, I would have had to raise my whole house 3' which was ridiculous considering it never flooded in the first place. Ack, you're brining up painful memories of dealing with bureaucrats.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Flood plains - how can I evaluate risk and convince DH
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2018, 07:15:28 PM »
FEMA has compiled data and you can find the interactive map here: