Please see the information below, provided by Diane Ifkovic, CT DEEP’s Liaison to FEMA;

Flood Insurance Statistics

The Town of Plainfield joined the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on June 17, 1991.  At that time, FEMA provided the town with flood maps and the town adopted its first floodplain regulations.

As of July 2, 2023, there are 21 NFIP flood insurance policies in Plainfield.  14 are residential properties (single family or 2-4 family), 8 are non-residential.  13 are in the 100-year floodplain (A or AE zone), 8 are outside the 100-year floodplain (B, C, X zones).  Often property owners that are on the edge of the 100-year floodplain but have experienced flooding in the past will buy a policy.  These 21 policies pay $27,705 in premiums, with $6,999,000 insurance in force.  Since 1978, there have been 8 closed paid flood losses in Plainfield totaling $335,284.

Be advised that flood insurance is required as a condition of a mortgage or other home loan if the structure is located in the floodplain.  If there is no loan, property owners often cancel the insurance.  The low policy count does not represent the number of structures that are located in the floodplain and should be maintaining insurance.  Also, your current mapping is very old and does not show structures.  The new maps becoming effective in September will have aerial photography.  Banks may have been making errors all these years by not requiring insurance.  You may see the policy count jump up a bit in the fall as banks go over their portfolios again with the new maps coming out and catching any old errors where they did not think the structure was in the floodplain.  They will also catch any new structures mapped into the floodplain.  

Tools & Data

This Storymap tool from FEMA may help you compare existing to proposed: 

FEMA estimates that there are approximately 171 structures in the 100-year floodplain on the current flood maps.  Be advised this can include accessory structures like sheds, garages, etc..   Your GIS may give more accurate numbers.  FEMA estimates on the proposed maps effective September 7, 2023 there will be 94 structures in the 100-year floodplain.  This represents a net loss of 77 structures.  Please note that there will be some new homes going into the floodplain for the first time, and others that were in the floodplain that are coming out.  Also there may be some structures in the floodplain that remain in the floodplain.

GIS Data Layers

The geospatial data is available on the FEMA Map Service Center website:  Hit "Search All Products" in the middle of the page.  Select Connecticut for State, Windham for County and Plainfield for Community, then hit "Search".    Select “Pending Product”, then FIRM database”, then hit the download button on the right.

Map & Regulation Update

Connecticut is one of the few states in the country where every community participates in the NFIP.  We are a small state with no unincorporated land.  Participation in the NFIP has two very important benefits:

  1. Access to federal flood insurance - If there is a mortgage for a structure in the floodplain the lender will require flood insurance per federal law.  If Plainfield does not participate in the NFIP, residents who need this insurance will have to go outside the system to buy it, which may be more expensive and cumbersome, affecting real estate transactions.
  2. Disaster Assistance - If there is a federally declared disaster, Plainfield is only eligible for Public Assistance (PA) funds to fix damaged town infrastructure if they participate in the NFIP.  If Plainfield dropped out of the NFIP and a disaster occurred, the town would again have to join the program to access PA funding.

The floodplain construction standards included in the updated regulations are also mirrored in the State Building Code.  If Plainfield does not adopt the updated Ordinance, the State Building Code would still have the same requirements.

Diane S. Ifkovic
State of Connecticut
Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street
Land & Water Resources Division, 3rd floor
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone:  (860) 424-3537