Mayor Chris Beutler today announced that Lincoln homeowners who buy flood insurance will see their premiums further reduced due to the City's flood prevention efforts. Effective today, the City is being upgraded in the Community Rating System (CRS) administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Since 2009, the City has had a class 6 rating, which provides a 20-percent reduction in flood insurance. The upgrade to class 5 will provide a 25-percent reduction for the 1,740 Lincoln residents who participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and whose properties are located in the floodplain. The average savings for policy-holders will increase from $288 per year to $360 per year. Flood insurance premiums are being increased due to federal changes, but the total savings still adds up to about $500,000 City-wide.
"This system rewards cities like Lincoln for taking extra steps to protect residents from floods," said Mayor Beutler. "With this upgrade, Lincoln will be one of the highest rated cities in the nation, and that adds up to significant savings for our residents." Lincoln is one of six cities in Nebraska and about 1,200 nationwide to take advantage of the NFIP, which provides federally backed flood insurance for communities that enact and enforce floodplain regulations.
The Mayor commended the Building and Safety Department and the Watershed Management Division of the Public Works and Utilities Department for their work with the CRS. Lincoln has been active in the CRS since October 1991. A City's rating is based on activities in the areas of public information, mapping and regulations, flood damage reduction and flood preparedness.
"Even those without property in the floodplain benefit from this program," Beutler said. "These floodplain management practices save lives, protect the environment and prevent damage to private property and public infrastructure."
The Mayor said a significant reason for the upgrade was the City's work with FEMA to take into account the amount of open space the City has along major creeks and other drainage corridors. More information is available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: stormwater).
The three goals of the Community Rating System are to reduce flood losses, facilitate accurate insurance ratings and promote awareness of flood insurance. More information on the CRS and the NFIP is available at floodsmart.gov.