Determining Property Lines After a Storm


In our last post, we briefly made mention of the damage that was caused throughout the state of Vermont by Hurricane Irene in 2011. What we didn’t really go into detail about was how to deal with that damage once the storm has passed. As you sift through your water-logged possessions and all of the wreckage during incidents like this, you may or may not notice that there is something a little off with your property line – or so you think.


We get a lot of calls from concerned property owners after flooding disasters who are troubled by the fact that they now have more or less land than before the storm. Some will call in and say, “Well I used to have 50 feet of land behind my garage but now I have about 10 feet.” While this may be true, this doesn’t mean that you have less property – just less land.


Allow me to elaborate; during a storm like Irene or a situation where it rains to the point of flooding, that water movement is either slow and imperceptible or fast and radical. If you’re looking at the latter, the appearance of where you’ve always known your property line to lie will not change. If we’re dealing with the former however, this is where we’re going to see the water move in one direction or another – either towards your home or away from it.


Regardless of what you’re are left with, know that it does not change the amount of property that you own. That is to say, if you had 3,500 square feet of land before the storm, you will have 3,500 square feet after the storm. The property is still yours; it’s just whether you have more land or more water now – simple as that. The only difference is that you may need a land surveyor’s help to tell you exactly where your ownership ends now.


Your land surveyor will be able to come in and figure out where that boundary was yesterday versus where it is today so that you will be more educated on where your responsibilities lie when it comes to tending to the drier or wetter property you’ve now acquired. Here at BLAZE Designs Inc., we handle a number of cases like this each year and can help you make sense of the mess left after a storm. Give us a call today and let us help you.