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Flood Insurance Rates Down Again

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Flooded Roadway

Residents in the unincorporated areas of the County are now eligible for another 5 percent reduction in flood insurance rates, thanks to the efforts of the County’s Watershed Protection program.

County residents already receive a 15 percent rate reduction, and with the additional 5 percent, their savings will be 20 percent in rates paid.

“This is very good news for County residents to know they will be paying less for flood insurance,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Ron Roberts. “In these economic times any and all cost savings are enthusiastically welcomed.”

To get the lower flood insurance rates, the County has to comply with a comprehensive list of standards and requirements outlined in the Community Rating System (CRS), a program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). An annual report is submitted to FEMA. Every five years FEMA conducts on-site inspections and interviews to verify the County’s compliance.

CRS categories range from enforcement activities to stormwater management, and from maintaining mapping systems to public education programs.

The County maintains an extensive drainage system that includes storm drain inlets, pipes, and channels. Our flood control department uses digitized and overlay maps in the day-to-day management of the floodplain and provides flood zone information such as the latest Flood Insurance Rate Maps and timely identification of impending flood threats. It also disseminates warnings to residents in the floodplain and coordinates flood response activities.

An extensive public education program includes information on state regulations, flood hazards, and even technical advice.

Enforcement activities include regulations on building codes for new and improvement construction, land development, stormwater management, soil and erosion control and water quality, as well as compliance with other state policies.

CRS credit is also given for preserving nearly 5600 acres of open space in its natural state.

In 2009, the County was designated as a StormReady Community by meeting specific standards set by the National Weather Service (NWS), including developing safety plans for severe weather, communications infrastructure and protocols, and conducting public awareness campaigns and safety training. Public notification procedures were also implemented during weather alerts to ensure public safety. This StormReady designation also contributed to additional rate reductions.

“This is very good news for County residents to know they will be paying less for flood insurance,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Ron Roberts. “In these economic times any and all cost savings are enthusiastically welcomed.”

The rate reduction goes into effect in October.

Information on the County’s flood control efforts and the approved Floodplain Management Plan is available at County libraries, distributed at public events and via mailed brochures, and posted on the public website at http://sdcounty.ca.gov/dpw/flood.html.