Snohomish County residents with flood insurance policies for properties in the 100-year floodplain will find their annual premiums reduced due to the county’s improved rating in the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System (CRS).
On Monday, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regional administrators recognized the county for improving its CRS rating from a Class 5 to a Class 4. This recognition was based on FEMA’s recent audit of the county’s floodplain management activities.
The audit resulted in additional credit being granted to the county for its improved practices and regulations in stormwater management. Surface Water Management fees covered the cost of implementing these improvements.
The new Class 4 rating provides a 30 percent discount for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies issued or renewed for properties in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). These are high-risk areas that would be inundated by a base flood – a flood having a 1-percent chance of occurring in a given year. Properties with federally backed mortgages within this flood zone must carry flood insurance.
“Working together to improve stormwater management and reduce flood risk throughout the county pays big dividends for our government, the community, taxpayers and flood-insurance policy holders,” Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon said. “The county has fared relatively well during recent flood events, partly due to our investments in flood control projects and our commitment to stormwater maintenance.”
In addition, mitigation of flood activities during the past decade has been so successful that Snohomish County is now actively pursuing the consolidation of all mitigation activities, including the discussion of a full-time mitigation division in county government.
“This type of dedication and vision to reducing disaster impacts is a natural evolution of Snohomish County’s growth during the past 10 years,” Reardon said.
About 2,800 homeowners in Snohomish County maintain NFIP policies. Nearly 1,900 of those policies are for properties within SFHAs. The average annual premium for structures in the SFHAs of Snohomish County is $750. The improved rating will save $225 annually per SFHA policy.
The Community Rating System program is an incentive program of the National Flood Insurance Program, which rewards communities that go beyond the minimum requirements to reduce flood damage in the community.
The county was accepted into the CRS program in 2006 as a CRS Class 5 community.