The High Water Mark - Volume 31, Issue 3

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WATER MARK The Newsletter of the Floodplain Management Association August 2021 - Volume 31, Issue 3 Mission: To promote the common interest in reducing flood losses and to encourage the protection and enhancement of natural floodplain values.

Alex Yescas - Chair HDR Engineering, Inc. 858-712-8283

Darren Suen - Director Central Valley Flood Protection Board 916-574-0609

Jeremy Lancaster - Advisor California Geological Survey 916-445-1825

Mike Nowlan - Vice Chair Wood Rodgers, Inc. 916-326-5277

Millicent Cowley-Crawford - Director Woodard & Curran 415-321-3421

Salomon Miranda - Advisor California DWR 818-549-2347

Connie Perkins - Gutowsky - Secretary California DWR 916-973-3008

Brian Walker - Director City of Roseville 916- 746-1349

Cindy Matthews - Advisor NOAA 916-979-3041

Brent Siemer - Treasurer City of Simi Valley, DPW 805-583-6805

Kyle Gallup - Director Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District 951-955-1265

Eric Simmons - Advisor FEMA Region IX 510-627-7029

Abigail Mayrena - Director Clark County RFCD 702-685-0000 John Moynier - Director David Evans & Associates 714-665-4512 Vince Geronimo - Director Mead and Hunt 916-993-4606 Brian Brown - Director City of West Sacramento 916-617-4559


Ann Bechtel - Director CDM Smith 760-710-4663 George Booth - Past Chair Sacramento County 916-874-6484 Kelly Soule - Advisor California DWR 916-574-1205 Jose Lara - Advisor California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) 916-845-8883

Carol Tyau-Beam - Advisor Hawaii DLNR 808-587-0267 Erin Warnock - Advisor Nevada DWR 775-684-2890 Jeanne Ruefer - Advisor HWC INC 775-722-7395 Mary Seits - Executive Director Floodplain Management Association 760-936-3676



A Note From The Chair Federal/National News State News CRS Request for Information Update Call For Articles Meet the CFM - Madeline Baker The Power of Two

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A NOTE FROM THE CHAIR By Alex Yescas Greetings Floodplain Managers, Summer. The time in the West where we shift our attention from making sure we can control the volume of water we have to hoping we have enough water to avoid rationing. The troublesome drought conditions the region is facing can be summarized by these dramatic images from Lake Oroville, showing the receding waters from April to July 2021.

As we face this and other challenges, I am hoping your summer has been and will continue to be great. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, the president is saying that the goal is to create a resilient, innovative economy for the nation’s future. The overall package is being reviewed by lawmakers, but there is plenty of optimism that in the end, this will most likely benefit our flood risk reduction projects. I am hoping that many of the projects that we have planned will be well funded and implemented under this package. Stay tuned.

SAVE THE DATE Floodplain Management Association Annual Conference September 7-10, 2021 - Virtual via the Hubilo Platform CRS Webinars September 7-9, 2021 - see page 10



Our 2021 VIRTUAL CONFERENCE is right around the corner from September 7-10, where we will have a great series of speakers, including Mark Pestrella from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and Colonel Julie Balten, 63rd Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Los Angeles District, to talk about their flood programs and steps the agencies are taking to help our communities become flood resilient. I am excited to listen to some of the great panel sessions the conference committee has planned, such as the LA River Masterplan, Effective Implementation through the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, and the Emerging Professionals Panel on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

I am proud to have been your Chair over the last two years, helping navigate FMA through the virtual environment, and supporting the growth of the Emerging Professionals Committee. Thank you for all the support that you have provided FMA through this past challenging year. I am confident that FMA and the members will continue to thrive moving forward and I look forward to networking with you all at the conference in September and in-person in the near future.

Cheers! Alex Yescas

We will also have open forums with the California and Nevada Departments of Water Resources, Cal OES, and FEMA to help answer any questions that you may have. In addition, CRS One-on-One Appointments will be available to agencies throughout the conference to help answer questions for your CRS program. Please register to the attend the conference so that you participate in these great panels and forums. Also, don’t forget another upcoming event focused on floodplain modeling. The 2-D MODELING FOR FLOODWAY APPLICATIONS WEBINAR in October will help attendees create and evaluate 2-D modeling-based floodways, with a special emphasis on doing so in accordance with FEMA's guidelines and standards (G&S). An overview of the G&S specific to 2-D modeling floodways will be provided, followed by an interactive technical session focused on creating the floodway analysis, setting encroachments that are informed by 2-D modeling outputs, and evaluating floodway surcharge compliance. FMA NEWS

FEDERAL/NATIONAL NEWS For an Update of the latest disaster declarations visit: CLICK HERE

For information on Flood Insurance Reform – Rates and Refunds CLICK HERE

Advisor Update FEMA Updates for FMA Board: July 2021


program was doubled to $1 billion this year. BRIC provides grants to communities to reduce future damages and losses before a disaster. Roughly 40% of the States and additional money provided to BRIC is targeted towards disadvantaged areas. Announcements on applications selected for potential funding was made at the end of June 2021; $550 million in flood control projects were selected. A WEBINAR SERIES is being offered to encourage future mitigation assistance from FEMA. Information on nature-based solutions is available from FEMA and THE NATURE CONSERVANCY. •FEMA is modernizing flood insurance rating in an effort called Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action, or RR2.0. Detailed information is ONLINE. Updated rates take effect October 1, 2021, for new policyholders and for policy renewals starting April 2022. New premiums better account for flood risk (future damages) and home value, with more expensive buildings costing more to insure. RR2.0 will not impact the mandatory purchase requirement nor floodplain management aspects. This topic will be discussed during the ANNUAL CONFERENCE!


•The Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC) released it’s 2020 annual report focused on the identification of future-conditions flood hazards. TMAC is a federal advisory committee making recommendations related to floodplain mapping. •On May 24th EXECUTIVE ORDER 14030 on climate-related financial risk reinstated policy on the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS).





In State Agencies Announce First Round of Commitments for $200 Million in Drought Funding to Support Small Communities: 10 Systems to Receive $25 Million for Immediate Relief

See the latest news stories for Hawaii, including recent postings for Hurricane Preparedness, Tsunami Awareness Month, Risk 2.0 and dam owner guidance at their blog. For the transformed flood information platform from Hawaii visit their exciting weekly blog at HTTPS://WAIHALANA. HAWAII.GOV/

Moving to provide immediate support to communities facing water supply challenges, DWR announced the first round of funding commitments for $200 MILLION AVAILABLE through the Small Community Drought Relief Program.

For archived Wai Halana Newsletters (prior to 2018) – HTTPS://DLNRENG.HAWAII.GOV/ NFIP/WAI-HALANA/

DWR Completes Installation of Emergency Salinity Drought Barrier After three weeks of round-the-clock work, the EMERGENCY DROUGHT SALINITY BARRIER (EDSB)

was completed in late June. The barrier will help prevent saltwater contamination of water supplies used by millions of Californians who rely on Deltabased federal and state water projects for at least some of their water supplies. Updated Computer Models Released for Key California Water Projects The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources released the next versions of TWO COMPUTER MODELS that simulate operations of the State Water Project (SWP) and the Central Valley Project (CVP).


STATE NEWS Nevada Nevada Outreach: The Nevada Floodplain Management Program has finally been able to start getting back out in the community and be present for in person outreach. In July we were able to attend July an event with Douglas County Public Works at Westwood Park in Minden, Nevada and Great Basin Institute’s Galena Summer Camp Presentations in Reno, Nevada. We broke out the flood model and handed out fun informational swag. We are looking forward to increasing in person outreach events. School curriculum that was created to go along with the Flood Fighter Nevada computer game will be piloted this fall in Washoe County schools. Shortly, we will also begin to create more school curriculum with Sierra Nevada Journeys that will go along with all Nevada major river Story Maps. We are currently in the process of updating our website NEVADAFLOODS.ORG. We are looking forward to an improved site for the public to be able to access information more easily and to overall increase Flood Awareness in Nevada. We are starting to prepare for out 8th annual Nevada Flood Awareness Week (FAW) which is scheduled for November 14 – 20, 2021. The goal of FAW is to create flood resilient communities in Nevada and increase flood awareness throughout the state. Flood awareness and preparedness is raised through the coordination of local outreach events, a media campaign, and the website.


Discovery: A Consultation Coordination Officers Meeting was held on July 29, 2021. FEMA Region IX and State of Nevada staff met with Floodplain Management in Elko County to discuss the results of the remapping study in areas of Elko County and the timeline for implementing these new maps. The Discovery process is a multi-year effort to provide communities with risk assessment tools, outreach support, more precise flood maps, grants information, floodplain management, and planning tools to strengthen local capacity and support informed risk reduction and resilience decisions. Discovery is part of the FEMA Risk Mapping, Analysis, and Planning (Risk MAP) program. Training: The Nevada Floodplain Management Program has completed a series of virtual trainings with Starr II, thanks to the support of Region IX. The topics included NFIP Basics, Permitting and Inspecting Floodplain Development, How to Review a No-Rise Analysis, Determining BFEMSC-LOMAS, Elevation Certificate Basics, How to Review an Elevation Certificate, and Preparing for a CAV. Official training dates will be released soon.



CRS NEXT REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI) UPDATE If you are unable to participate in the three CRS webinars on September 7, 8, and 9, there are other opportunities to provide your comments. Only three webinars are scheduled. The FEMA/FIMA public comment period runs between August 23rd and September 22nd, 2021. The closing date is September 22, 2021. More information can be found at: CRS Next RFI announcement page If you plan to speak at a webinar, please note that the meeting is open to the public. Participants must register in advance and will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants will be emailed a unique URL link to join the public meeting once their registration is confirmed. Participant links should not be shared with others. Participants only have two (2) minutes to speak since there will be many participants.


As stated at the bottom page of CRS Next RFI announcement page , there is a section containing twelve (12) questions that you may wish to use to formulate your comments. These questions can be quickly REFERENCED HERE. All comments will be logged and counted.


CALL FOR ARTICLES! The FMA Newsletter welcomes the input of its members and now our extended family of readership to contribute to the conversation! Keep the great articles coming! We need to hear from all of you. There’s always room for more to join the ranks of published authors. Showcase your programs, projects, tools, policies, regulations or ideas to hundreds of floodplain management professionals throughout the U.S.! Articles must be submitted in Word format to and may contain 2-3 small pictures. Preferred length is less than 850 words.

For more details call (760) 936-3676.





MEET THE CFM - MADELINE BAKER Interviewed and Written by Kayla Kelly-Slatten, JD, CFM* Fresh, spunky, kind, and approachable. Meet Madeline Baker, a civil engineer with a background in ecology and evolutionary biology helping to shape the future of floodplain management. From the Central Valley to Northern California, Ms. Baker has worked on a variety of flood projects, including those with habitat restorative benefits and valuable agricultural impacts. While she began her floodplain journey prior to obtaining her CFM, today Ms. Baker highlights the CFM as a conduit of compassion, using the accreditation to advise small-budget organizations and to advocate for diversity in the floodplain community. After graduating from UC Merced in 2010, Ms. Baker worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service before spending some time in the biotech industry, neither of which felt like the right career path. Determined to find something meaningful and interesting, Ms. Baker began reading job descriptions and realized those that caught her eye required a civil engineering degree. So, naturally, Ms. Baker became a civil engineer. Although she had to make-up nine undergraduate courses and pass an additional ten graduate classes, Ms. Baker’s determination pushed her to complete her civil engineering degree from San Jose State in just two and a half years. This determination has carried over into her career as she began working within the floodplain community.


Although empowered by her civil engineering degree and open to ideas and opportunities, not all firms she worked for pushed Ms. Baker to grow professionally. The Floodplain Management Association was an unknown organization to her, as was the Association of State Floodplain Management. Thus, when Ms. Baker had her daughter, she used it as a new chapter and took a job in Sacramento with a firm that encouraged her to participate in conferences, workshops, and professional development. It was here that a mentor guided Ms. Baker to her first FMA conference and encouraged her to sit for the CFM exam. To Ms. Baker, the CFM exam brought together all aspects of the floodplain world, beyond that of engineering. Even with previous exposure to the various laws, regulations, and socioenvironmental components of floodplain management, the CFM exam enhanced Ms. Baker’s vision to a broader perspective. Ms. Baker continues to view her CFM as a window to opportunities, both for her and for her clients. These opportunities offer space to be creative, innovative, and collaborative in order to better address floodplain issues and concerns. Currently, Ms. Baker represents the firm Larsen Wurzel & Associates as a project manager, overseeing the planning and implementation of flood-related projects, such as the Little Egbert Multi-Benefit Project. As the Assistant Secretary for the Joint Powers Agency (JPA) tasked with overseeing the Little Egbert Multi-Benefit Project, Ms. Baker relies on her experience and her CFM to make informed decisions regarding the habitat restoration planned for the western portion of the tract and the levee updates planned for the eastern portion of the tract.

13 With her background in both ecology and engineering, Ms. Baker has the technical knowledge and skillset to address the holistic vision of the Little Egbert project. However, her CFM allows her to view the project from a floodplain community standpoint, highlighting project opportunities and constraints both upstream and downstream from the tract. Moreover, Ms. Baker’s CFM grants her another tool when she speaks with landowners, community stakeholders, and local governments, all affected by the Little Egbert Project. While this project is made simpler by its single land owner, the vision of it, although logical, is complex, multi-pronged, and expensive. Thus, Ms. Baker needs to continue to push for collaboration and resources, using her expertise and certifications to advise the JPA and guide decision-making towards a successful multi-benefit outcome.

One by one, CFM to CFM, Ms. Baker communicates the importance of highlighting diversity in all aspects of floodplain management, from disaster response and recovery to inclusivity among the technical experts working on floodplain projects. The CFM should not be a door-closed for any, but an open door to all, presenting opportunities for growth and development, just like it did for Ms. Baker.

Between raising a family and balancing multifaceted flood projects, Ms. Baker’s time is precious. And yet, she finds the breadth to bring kindness and compassion to other aspects of the floodplain community. From sitting on FMA’s Emerging Professionals Committee to counseling short-staffed flood management organizations, Ms. Baker refines the meaning of the CFM accreditation. Yes, the CFM brings Ms. Baker confidence as she researches and responds to clients, but her CFM also gives her a voice to help bring more diversity and racial-bias awareness into the floodplain community.


THE POWER OF TWO by Michael Nowlan This article is intended to be the last in a series of written articles highlighting the namesakes of our FMA awards. I hope that the legacy of the greats within our community will live on and be spoken of well into the future. I personally knew neither of the namesakes of the Hogg Owen Award for Meritorious Achievement in the Floodplain Management Association; James Hogg or H. James Owen. It is my understanding that both were commonly referred to as “Jim” and that helps us to begin to know these men. When informal “nicknames” are how people are known, it definitely broadcasts an atmosphere of approachability and lack of pretense. At the onset of writing this series of articles I was concerned that our memory and our history were being lost. Unfortunately, I was correct. My first “test” for determining the remembrance of each individual is to perform an internet search and see what is preserved in the “world’s library of information”. There are a few noteworthy things that come up when you search for Jim Owen, but Jim Hogg is sadly missing, at least the Jim Hogg of FMA. I didn’t even know that a county in Texas is named “Jim Hogg”!


So, what did I do? I did what we should all do when faced with a deficit of information…. turn to colleagues and friends for help! How else do we remember and grow, except by helping each other and sharing our experiences and knowledge? It might even be considered, dare I say it, “associating”. After sending out some inquiries I was able to identify and contact someone who worked with Jim Hogg. His name is Clark Farr. Now, this article isn’t directly about Clark, but in some ways it is about the “Clarks” of our community. When I asked for his help for describing Jim Hogg his response was “He was my mentor, boss, and good friend. Details may be a bit hard for me to remember, but ask the questions.” That is exactly the spirit I am attempting to foster in all of these articles! While this may be a very brief synopsis of both men’s life accomplishments, both of these men made a deep impression on the folks who led FMA initially, enough to name an award for them. According to Clark, both men became connected through the creation of FMA, as both of them were instrumental in the formation of our wonderful institution.


Jim Hogg worked for Orange County for approximately 20 years before moving to and working for Kern County in 1985, which is where he met Clark. Clark started in 1988, and worked closely with Jim for about 7 years, until Jim’s passing. One of the biggest projects that Jim worked on was the Caliente Creek Flood Control Project, which unfortunately was never funded. Sometimes we expend a lot of effort without seeing the fruits of our labor. It’s not always about the end result, but the little victories we achieve along the way. Both Jims attended several ASFPM national conferences and knew many of the “power players”, according to Clark, who was introduced by the Jims to the folks with influence on public policy and early CRS scoring committees. As a public servant, on behalf of Kern County’s constituents, Jim Hogg worked on flood mapping issues, the creation of Kern County’s Hydrology Manual, and alluvial fan regulations.

He also worked on other publications, including the "Flood Warning System: Does your community need one?”, prepared for the National Weather Service (1980), “Guide for Flood and Flash Flood Preparedness Planning" (1977), "Evaluation of WQ Models" (1976), and “Cooperative Flood Loss Reduction” (1981). In the end, Jim Owen and Jim Hogg forged a friendship, which helped forge our association, that has lasted to this day. I would say that meets the definition of meritorious. We are stronger, together, because of men like Jim Hogg and Jim Owen.

Jim Owen worked for a company named Flood Loss Reduction Associates in Palo Alto, California, which he may have founded in 1980 (I would have to pay a fee to release the legal incorporation documents). He authored the "Floodplain Management Handbook" (1981). Google digitized this book and it is available for free as an Ebook.


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Have questions or comments about this month's articles? Participate in the discussion on the FMA facebook page!





WATER MARK The Newsletter of the Floodplain Management Association