Scottsdale property owners started saving more on flood insurance May 1 thanks to flood hazard reduction efforts by the city.
Scottsdale scored tops in the state among municipalities during a recent federal audit of floodplain management practices, ranking in the top 1 percent of all U.S. cities and counties.
“These rankings are a significant achievement for our community,” said Mayor Jim Lane. “Through our efforts at floodplain management, property is safer and insurance costs are lower for citizens. That’s an excellent return for citizens on taxpayers’ investment.”
There are 8,160 flood insurance policies in Scottsdale – more than any other Arizona community and more than one-fourth of the state’s total. Scottsdale’s percentage is high because of the area’s topography. In heavy rains, floodwaters cascade down mountain terrain to place areas at risk. Portions of Scottsdale also experience urban flooding.
Scottsdale’s rating for flood risk improved from Class 6 to Class 5 because of the audit — a move that will boost the premium discount in special flood hazard areas from 20 to 25 percent. Policy holders outside the special flood hazard areas will continue to see their premiums reduced by 10 percent.
These adjustments will collectively save flood insurance policy holders an additional $200,000 a year and bring total annual premium savings to $1.1 million annually. That breaks down to an average overall savings of $137 per year per policy.
In its audit, FEMA’s Insurance Services Office stated Scottsdale excelled in several flood hazard reduction and floodplain management areas, including:
- Maintaining flood-prone areas as open space
- Adopting and enforcing higher regulatory standards than those required by FEMA
- Partnering with the Flood Control District of Maricopa County to complete area drainage master studies and plans for several watersheds, comprising over half the city’s area
- Adopting and enforcing regulations that prohibit new development from increasing flood hazards to neighboring properties
In all, FEMA’s Insurance Services Office credited Scottsdale in 14 areas of flood hazard mitigation and floodplain management.
To recognize Scottsdale’s superior floodplain management practices, FEMA will present a plaque to the city at a June 5 City Council study session. The meeting begins at 4 p.m. at City Hall, 3939 N Drinkwater Blvd.
Because severe weather and flooding can be unpredictable in the desert, Scottsdale urges all residents to consider carrying flood insurance. Get more information on the National Flood Insurance Program.