Although it is true that replicating an entire coastal flood study will be time-consuming and expensive, a review of the study documentation can help focus an appeal on certain aspects of the study, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Quality of the topography and bathymetry used in the models;
- Validation of the models using historical flood events;
- Selection of flood events modeled;
- How those events are parameterized in the models;
- Methods by which water levels from individual simulations are combined statistically; and
- Overland wave hazard modeling.
The first and last items listed above (topography and overland wave hazard modeling) have a significant influence on the Base (1-%-annual-chance) Flood Elevations (BFEs) and Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundaries and/or zone designations (Zones VE or AE) produced by a coastal flood study, and do not require high-powered computers and sophisticated models to appeal. In fact, challenging results based on these two items is no more complicated today than it was before the advent of supercomputers. Many appeals and revision requests are still submitted and granted using local topographic data, desktop computers, and readily-available models.