Walden has worked with this Village, located in the southwestern region of Nassau County, New York for many years. As a low-lying area on the southern shore of Long Island, the Village’s low surface elevation coupled with the existing condition of its drainage system has resulted in prolonged street flooding at some locations during rain events, depending on rainfall totals and tide conditions. The Village suffered extreme damage due to Superstorm Sandy and has taken many actions which exceed federal standards for floodplain management to improve its resilience and readiness to respond to flood disasters, which ultimately protect properties and reduce flood insurance payouts. As a result of these actions, the Village is eligible for reductions in flood insurance costs through insurance premium discounts under the Community Rating System (CRS) program.
Walden partnered with the Village’s Certified Floodplain Manager and other Village staff to perform a Repetitive Loss Area Analysis (RLAA) and complete the CRS application in accordance to FEMA guidance and direction from the CRS Specialist assigned to this project. Walden’s experience in working with the Village and our knowledge of the Village’s flooding problems and drainage issues gave us an advantage in compiling the information needed for the CRS application, since we had access to data and mapping files from previous projects. Also, Walden’s expertise in FEMA flood mitigation projects, ArcGIS, and dealing with large data sets was vital in enabling us to complete the data analysis and mapping within the tight project timeframe.
Walden generated all required property lists and mapping, including parcel lines, structures, open spaces, repetitive loss properties and flood inundation areas. We researched historic FIRM maps and Flood Insurance Studies, and prepared materials for a dedicated flood information page created for the Village’s website. Based on FEMA damage claims, Walden determined that the entire Village was a repetitive loss area and prepared a detailed description of flooding conditions and causes in the Village. Walden worked with the Village to develop a questionnaire that was sent to all property owners about flooding issues experienced at their properties. Walden also prepared field inventory tables for the RLAA property inspections conducted by Village staff and coordinated RLAA data management. Walden performed a comprehensive evaluation of the FEMA claims information related to insurance policies and reimbursements for losses due to Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and other severe storm events. Based on all of this information, Walden completed the RLAA report. In addition, supporting documents and mapping were submitted to satisfy the information required for the CRS application.
Walden participated in follow-up discussions with the FEMA representative and evaluated the preliminary CRS scoring for the Village. When the CRS Class 8 rating was finalized by FEMA in the second half of 2020, the Village property owners realized a 10 percent discount on flood insurance premiums. Walden met the challenge of analyzing and processing a large amount of data, completing the RLAA, and generating all maps and other documents required for the CRS application. The work performed by Walden has established the foundation for the programs to be implemented by the Village and verified during annual CRS reviews.