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  • Regional Flood Control District efforts lead to flood insurance discounts for residents

    Dec 04, 2014 | Read More News
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    Need flood insurance? Pima County is the place to live.

    When it finally rains here, there are areas that are prone to flooding. Property owners in federally designated floodprone areas – Federal Emergency Management Agency floodplains – are required to have flood insurance if there is a federally backed loan on the property.

    Because Pima County Regional Flood Control District (District) continues to exceed National Flood Insurance Program requirements, residents who live in a FEMA floodplain are eligible for up to a 25 percent discount on their insurance.

    The District was recently notified that Pima County continues to be a Class 5 community, which places it among the top communities in the national insurance program’s Community Rating System (CRS).

    In the recent national review, the District and the County received high scores for:
    • Open Space Preservation, which preserves 58,327 acres of regulatory floodplains as open space, protecting open space land with deed restrictions and preserving open space land in a natural state; and also providing regulations and incentives that minimize development in those areas. “CRS has placed greater emphasis on natural floodplain protection, which is something we do quite well,” said Greg Saxe, Environmental Planning Manager in the District’s Floodplain Management Division.
    • Stormwater Management, which provides watershed master planning and regulations enforcement for stormwater management, low-impact development, soil and erosion control, and water quality.
    • Drainage System Maintenance, which provides regular inspections of the community’s drainage system throughout the year and performs maintenance as needed; and also enforces a regulation prohibiting dumping in the draining system.
    • Higher Regulatory Standards, which enforces regulations that require development limitations, foundation protection and local drainage protection; and enforces building codes and state mandated regulatory standards.
    • Outreach Projects, which provide annual flood information brochures, public meetings and presentations to the general public, including targeted mailings to floodplain residents. For example, an open house is scheduled today at 6 p.m. at the Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road, informing residents, property owners and other stakeholders in the Ruthrauff Basin about efforts to identify and reduce flood areas and drainage problems.
    • Acquisition and Relocation efforts, which removed 249 buildings from the community’s regulatory floodplain.
    • Floodplain Management Planning, which adopts and implements the Pima County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.
    The District is a regional authority undertaking flood mitigation efforts throughout Pima County, but it does not regulate floodplains within incorporated areas or on Tribal Nations.  

    It develops detailed topographic maps throughout the County to determine where water flows, while incorporating the results of rainfall runoff relationship studies to determine peak flood discharges and delineate 100-year floodplains, their velocities and their depths. Along with extensive surveying and aerial mapping, drainage factors such as slope, vegetation, soil composition and land use are also analyzed and taken into account.

    These studies are used by the District to better manage the floodplain, to reduce or prevent flood damage, and to maintain the natural and beneficial functions of the floodplains. 

    The District also maintains an extensive system of rainfall and stream gauges throughout eastern Pima County. This system, called Automated Local Evaluation in Real Time (ALERT) system, relays critical precipitation and stream flow information to the District in real time. This data is used by the National Weather Service and Pima County Office of Emergency Management to provide flood warnings to the public. These warnings can be found on the National Weather Service Severe Weather Summary Page.  

    For more information about flooding, including what to do in the event of a flood, visit the Regional Flood Control District online.