Mayor Don Wesely announced today that Lincoln is one of more than 900 communities receiving flood insurance premium discounts through the federal government's Community Rating System (CRS) program. This is based on the City's implementation of local mitigation, outreach and educational activities that exceed the minimum National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements.
The activities make Lincoln property owners eligible to currently receive a 10-percent insurance premium discount through the NFIP. The City of Lincoln recently completed a re-verification process for the CRS program which will determine the City's future classification and eligibility for insurance rate discounts.
"Just last night, we had the lesson driven home that flooding can happen in no time, and it can be very serious and dangerous," Mayor Wesely said. "The City of Lincoln is dedicated to setting high standards for floodplain management and to educating our citizens about the issues."
Lincoln's ongoing education efforts have included informing the public about the risk of flooding. This month, property owners in floodplains will receive a brochure from the City's Building and Safety Department that details information about floodplains, local flood hazards and the NFIP.
"Because of the new brochure and the additional steps we've taken to educate the public, we hope Lincoln will receive a higher CRS rating, which may result in a larger premium discount for local property owners beyond the discount already received," said Mike Merwick, Director of the City Building and Safety Department. "We expect a response from the federal government shortly, and we are projecting that the new rating would place Lincoln in the top four percent of cities in the United States."
If the City, adopts higher floodplain management standards in the future, additional flood insurance premium discounts may be available. The Mayor has appointed a Floodplain Task Force to suggest revisions to the floodplain standards to further reduce future flooding hazards. The Floodplain Task Force is expected to finalize recommendations by the end of December.
Because flood hazards exist outside of mapped floodplain areas, flood insurance is available to anyone within the city limits.
The City has developed a series of "Only Rain in the Drain" billboards and movie theater slides featuring information on flood hazards and water quality issues. These educational efforts also support federal stormwater quality requirements that Lincoln must meet under a permit recently approved by the State Department of Environmental Quality.
Additional information regarding the Mayor's Floodplain Task Force and local floodplain management can be found on the City's website at www.lincoln.ne.gov. Information on the CRS program can be found on the website of the Federal Emergency Management Agency at http://www.fema.gov/business/nfip/crs.shtm.