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Base Flood Elevations by Approximate Methods

Russell W. Faust, PE

As anyone who uses flood plain data available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) knows, many areas subject to flooding have not been mapped in detail. In such areas, the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) must be estimated by a small number of approximate methods. These are most often applied in areas labeled "Zone X" or sometimes "Zone A" on FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).

This course provides an overview of several of the methods available and concludes with an illustrative example for a small stream in rural Oregon. The method chosen by the design professional in any case will most often be determined by the data available to him or her and, of course, by the budget of the project at hand.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

* If you are a registered professional land surveyor in Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas or Vermont, you need to take the approved courses for that specific state under the course category "Surveying & Mapping".

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.