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Old 01-12-2009, 10:46 PM
 
76 posts, read 109,761 times
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Hello. I'm going to be moving to Montesano when the economy improves (hopefully later this year or early next -- the sooner the better). I'm not that worried about the idea that the area gets some flooding, but I don't want to buy a house that's in a flood zone. Can anyone point me to flood maps? I tried FEMA's Website, but the map just sits there forever and says it's loading and nothing ever happens. Perhaps there's somewhere else to look? Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
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Hi. I like Montesano and the area around it. Very calm, very pretty.

Your real estate agent is required to have, and to provide to prospective buyers, current, accurate flood plain maps; it's part of the job. Sellers are also required by law to provide the information if the property is in a flood plain. Therefore, you can get that information from your agent, and request photocopies.

In the meantime, these might be interesting for you while you're waiting for that FEMA window to open:
Am I in a Flood Zone?* Do I need Flood Insurance? (http://www.flood-zone.net/ - broken link)
and
River and Lake information for locations near Montesano, WA.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Near Sequim, WA
434 posts, read 1,088,174 times
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In addition to realtors, insurance agents will also have flood plain maps as it is more expensive to insure a home located in a flood plain. For the most part, a property that is on a hill anywhere in Grays Harbor county will usually be safe from the flood waters.

If you have some time in the next week or two, go check out Montesano and the surrounding area. If it's not underwater now given all the flooding this year, you'll probably be safe in the future!
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:28 AM
 
76 posts, read 109,761 times
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Thank you both for your help.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:47 AM
 
Location: BOY-see
4,355 posts, read 6,983,420 times
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One good idea is to add a little basic geology to your store of knowledge so that you can give an area your own eyeball test. This one's easy. Where there is a river, take a good look around: the area that is near the river and very flat, well, very likely that resulted from repeated floods over time. Those areas that are sort of flat (and generally a bit further from the river), but generally look to be part of the level area if you interpret 'level' liberally, well, those probably flood more rarely.

Once you get in the habit of this, it may surprise you how rapidly you can identify those areas prone to inundation.
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:22 PM
 
76 posts, read 109,761 times
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That's a good thought, as well. Thanks. I'll have to do some of that when I get up there.

I live on the other side of the country right now, so I'll just keep an eye on the news and this forum to keep up with what's going on for right now.

Anything else that people could tell me about Montesano would be helpful. School and job info doesn't matter. My daughter is a graduate and I'm self-employed (yes, I know about the B&O tax). Other than that, opinions of those who live there (and near there) are always helpful.

I want a quiet place to exist where people help each other out when needed but aren't always in your business. I want rain, clouds, and cool weather. I want to avoid big cities and neighbors that carry on and make noise until all hours of the morning. I also want to avoid crime and that kind of thing as much as possible. I want a place where people are accepting of people who are different and unique, as long as they aren't out causing a problem. I know that no place is perfect, but perfect for me is subjective.

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:35 PM
 
Location: BOY-see
4,355 posts, read 6,983,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michi_B View Post
I want a place where people are accepting of people who are different and unique, as long as they aren't out causing a problem.
That describes much of Washington, to some degree or other. This is the West. By and large, the cultural expectation is that if you have a difference, and you are not making it someone else's problem, it is not their problem or their business. Of course, small towns always have more of a busybody factor than large towns that way. I don't think Montesano is small enough for that busybody factor to make life hell.

Specific to Montesano lifestyle I know nothing, unfortunately. It would not surprise me if it were formerly dependent upon timber from an economic standpoint, as was much of western Washington. Looks nice enough from the pictures.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Near Sequim, WA
434 posts, read 1,088,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michi_B View Post
Anything else that people could tell me about Montesano would be helpful.
Well you could search this site for Montesano (if you've not done so already) and the other towns in the area to get a feel for Grays Harbor. Heading west from Montesano you'll drive through Central Park (nice quiet little hill top town) and then down the hill in to Aberdeen. There are multiple posts on this site regarding the pros and cons of Aberdeen.

Montesano has a population of what, about 3,000 perhaps 4,000 people? I'm always intrigued how folks clear across the country can zero in on small towns such as this?

OK, FWIW my favorite building in Montesano is the county courthouse. We always peek to catch a glimpse of it from the freeway as we drive by:

http://www.city-data.com/picfilesc/picc2728.php

Otherwise, I would echo the oft repeated City Data advice- rent for several months there before you completely sever all ties in your current location. The whole area of Grays Harbor county is semi-rural, largely blue collar (timber, fishing and what's left of those industries) and can be economically depressed at times. The long stretches of grey weather, bucket loads of rain, wind and prolonged lack of sunshine can stir up SAD in some people. Because of this weather (and the economy), these towns can occasionally look a little run down. Last year big winter storms took off hundreds of roofs in the area and did a lot of damage. This winter it's flooding. Wow! As the cliche goes: look before you leap!

Good luck!
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:21 AM
 
76 posts, read 109,761 times
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Thanks, Dendrite.

I've already researched Montesano extensively through the forum and through the Internet in general, which was why I wanted to hear from people who were actually there. Internet info only tells you so much, you know?

Thanks for your cautions, as well. Rural isn't a problem. I grew up in rural, and live in semi-rural now. I know that the weather there is much different from the weather that I'm used to where I am, but that's a change I can look forward to. I'm actually much more depressed when it's hot and sunny. I really dislike that kind of weather, and I live in Florida (been here since 1992), so I definitely need a change. Enough is enough with the blinding sun and baking heat. Also with the hurricanes.

As for how I zeroed in on that tiny town from 3,000 miles away, it was mostly research into weather and taxes and other issues that were important to me (political affiliation, gun laws, etc), and then just scouring the parts of the state that got the most rainfall for town names that sounded interesting. Then checking out the towns via the Internet for crime, affordability, and other things. In other words, it was logic first, then intuition. No big secret, really.

Oh, and I've seen a pic of the Courthouse you mentioned. What a beautiful building!
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:01 AM
 
Location: In the woods next to the ocean
4,038 posts, read 8,610,901 times
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Most of Montesano sits up on a hill, so during the recent floods there were no serious flooding problems.
However, the roads into town were flooded, so you could not get to Aberdeen to the west, Olympia to the east, or to Chehalias and I-5 to the south.
The town was cut off for several days.
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