Unmapped floodplain area

I currently have a park under contract that is in a city not mapped by FEMA’s flood maps.  What’s the best way to determine if there are any flooding issues?

From my experience if FEMA does not map the area, it is NOT in the flood zone. 

Unfortunately most of the city of Grand Rapids is not mapped for some reason, and I would suspect there are floodplains in some parts.

Check with the county that the park is in, likely they have some info.  Also, a floodplain may or may not be the same as an area that floods.  A floodplain fills with overflow water from a watercourse like a stream or a river when that watercourse exceeds flood stage.  However, there are areas in many towns and cities where the storm drainage is inadequate for the heaviest storms.  These areas flood occasionally but are not floodplains.  Their problem is due to local jurisdictions not having completed adequate storm drainage systems.  Also, you may find useful information on the US Army Corps of Engineers’ (US ACE) website or the Bureau of Reclamation’s website, depending on what part of the country you are in.  Lastly, don’t overlook the oldtimers, of which I’m one, in the area of the park and the insurance companies that provide flood insurance in that area.Jim Allen

Call your insurance agent and have them pull a map for you.  The map should show if, and if so, how much of the park is in a Special Flood Zone Hazard area.  If it is in such, you should ask a few tenants about flood history in the park.  Any park that has gotten water up high enough to get in the homes more than once is a real big risk.  Cities have been known to effectively shut these down at any time by refusing to allow any more/new homes in the park.Finally, flood is a particularly worrisome issue for park owners as it is difficult and expensive to buy loss of income coverage for a park that includes flood as a covered peril.  As I write this, only one carrier we use out of ten or so will do so.  And if that carrier stops, …???  It’s going to be hard to sell to anyone buy a cash buyer.