The Johnsons Celebrate 38 years at FTN

As FTN celebrates its 40th year in business, husband and wife Marc Johnson, PE, CFM, and Linda Johnson, PE, CFM, are celebrating their 38th year with the firm. Marc began in March of 1983, and Linda started working here four months later. They are both vice presidents of FTN; co-lead our water resources group; mentor younger staff; provide historical perspective; serve as project managers, and are principals in the firm.

Some may wonder how a couple can be successful professionally and in marriage and parenting while navigating the inherent conflicts one would think exist in this situation.

“We have worked together since our high school freshman year when we started dating, and we attended the same college at the same time and had identical majors, so it comes naturally for us to work together at the office,” Linda explained. “The hardest part is leaving our work responsibilities at the office so that we don’t bring home the professional challenges that we deal with every day.” 

“Linda and I are a great team,” Marc said. “I’m an extrovert who sees the big picture in projects at work and at home, and Linda is an introvert who thrives in the details. Our different personality types also help us work more effectively with the large variety of clients we serve and the diverse group of employees in FTN’s Water Resources Group.”

Marc and Linda graduated high school the same year, both attended the University of Illinois, and each earned a BS in Civil Engineering in 1979. They married in 1979, and daughter Erin was born in 1990, and son Chris came along in 1993.

From a professional standpoint, there have been many advancements the past 38 years that have changed the way they meet the needs of FTN’s clients. Linda and Marc agreed that the most important change has been increased computing power. This has allowed water resources professionals to model much more complex situations without having to make simplifying and limiting assumptions. Another important change has been the increased number of women going into engineering.

The Johnsons were the first two employees that the founders of FTN hired. They have seen FTN grow in the types of engineering and environmental consulting services it provides, and the company now has 80 employees. Marc and Linda have been instrumental in the company’s success.

Happy 38th Work Anniversary!

40 Years in Business!

We couldn’t have done it without you!

By Paul Crawford, PE, PG, FTN President

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

That may be an odd way to start a “blog,” but I couldn’t think of a better way to express appreciation to the clients, our founders, past and current FTN employees, and others who made it possible for FTN Associates, Ltd. to be celebrating its 40th Anniversary this summer.

We are humbled and honored that some of our clients who worked with us during our first few years in business are still letting FTN serve them today. Also, we are fortunate that two of the founders of the company, Dennis Ford, PhD, PE, and Kent Thornton, PhD, are still working at FTN, along with the first two employees that were hired, the husband and wife team of Marc Johnson, PE, CFM, and Linda Johnson, PE, CFM.

We are very grateful for the growth and continued success we have experienced since July of 1981. FTN, an employee-owned company, now has 80 employees consisting of engineers, environmental scientists, geologists, technicians, and other experts and support staff who work in our Little Rock headquarters and branch offices in Fayetteville, Baton Rouge, and Chesterfield, Missouri.

Dr. Ford served as president of FTN until he decided to step down in the spring of 2018, when I was selected as our company’s next president.

When I first met FTN while working on a project together 25 years ago, I was impressed with their employees and their approach to solving problems – that’s why I decided to join them.  I still am impressed by our  staff and how they provide solutions to engineering and environmental compliance issues that our clients experience.

There have been tremendous changes in technology during FTN’s 40 years in business, but our approach to serving clients hasn’t wavered: We are committed to exemplary service, support, quality, innovation, employee excellence, and integrity. We enjoy helping our clients be successful! These FTN attributes will never change.

Please, don’t ever hesitate to contact me any time at FTN, (501) 225-7779, or email me at

Again, thank you to all those who helped make our company what it is today!

What is a 100-year-flood?

Flood in North LIttle Rock June 2019


By Marc Johnson, PE, CFM, and Linda Johnson, PE, CFM

The tragic floods that have struck Arkansas and nearby states this year have caused tens of millions of dollars in damages to homes, businesses, farms, and infrastructure. They have brought grief and despair to many citizens who weren’t prepared to handle a tragedy of this magnitude.

Some long-time residents of the Arkansas River Valley have said they have never seen flooding of this magnitude.

It has been described as a 100-year-flood.

Engineers, hydrologists, and other experts sometimes use this term, but it is somewhat misleading. Members of the general public wrongly assume that description should mean that another flood of this magnitude should not strike for another 100 years, or a 500-year-flood should typically only come every 500 years.

The simple truth is that these types of catastrophic floods can occur every year or multiple times during a year.

The term “100-year-flood” actually means that in any given year there is a “one percent” chance of that flood occurring (1 chance out of 100 or 1/100). A 200-year-flood would mean that there is a “0.5 percent” chance (1/200) of that type of catastrophe occurring in any one year. When we refer to a 500-year-flood, that translates into a 0.2 percent chance (1/500) of that event happening in any one year. People understand percentages – like a 20% chance of rain – and it’s a better way to describe the risk.

If a homeowner lives in the same location in the floodplain for the duration of a 30‑year mortgage, there is a 26-percent chance that the 1‑percent annual chance flood will occur at some point over the life of that mortgage based on cumulative probabilities (i.e., like throwing the dice 30 times).

For decades, FTN has worked with FEMA throughout Arkansas and other states developing floodplain maps. Under federal law, the purchase of flood insurance is required for all federal or federally-backed mortgages for the purchase and/or construction of buildings in FEMA high-risk flood areas. If the property is not in a high-risk area, but instead in a moderate-to-low risk area, federal law does not require flood insurance; however, a lender can still require it.

FTN recommends that not only people with property that is in a high-risk flood area purchase flood insurance but also recommends people even with property near a high-risk flood area also purchase it since historically 25% of flood claims come from these moderate-to-low risk areas. Moreover, the flood insurance in the areas outside the high-risk flood area is relatively cheap.

Water resources services, including floodplain permitting and mapping, master drainage projects, and other related services have represented a large portion of FTN’s work during our 38 years of doing business. If flooding has caused you problems, we may be able to help.

Please give us a call in Little Rock at (501) 225-7779 or email us at or

FTN’ers Love to Volunteer!

Our employees can be found in many different places, in various situations, giving their time, sweat, and money to several organizations and agencies. Here is why they volunteer, in their own words: