Certain areas in the downtown portion of the city may be taken off the federal floodplain maps.
Certain parts of downtown and midtown Tucson have required flood insurance for the last few years but if certain expected changes take place, removing those zones from the federal floodplain maps, then it won’t be long before homeowners will no longer be required to purchase that coverage.
The floodplain maps changes would mean about 600 property owners can decide if they want to keep coverage.
While the flood insurance policies would still be available to those homeowners, it may soon be up to them as to whether or not they actually purchase them. According to Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik, “This is a great Christmas present for 600 property owners.” Kozachik’s ward covers many of the neighborhoods that are expected to be removed from the floodplain maps and that will, therefore, be able to save a considerable amount of money in premiums payments if those homeowners choose not to continue their policies.
The removal from the floodplain map means homeowners will save hundreds of dollars per year on flood insurance.
The property owners will no longer be required to purchase flood coverage above and beyond their homeowners insurance coverage, as the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) maps will no longer designate them as being in one of those areas. The entire reason this has happened is that there has been a regional capital improvement project in place for more than two decades, which has brought in the construction of new detention basins, culverts and washes. These new constructions ran along a considerable segment of the city and has provided significant flooding protection.
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One of the most recent projects, the Arroyo Chico, was worth $72 million and ran for several years for the control of flooding. It was finally completed last April.
The Pima County Regional Flood Control District deputy directory, Bill Zimmerman, said that “They’re physically out of the floodplain with the improvements we’ve made.” There were a range of different improvements made and they have now effectively brought the city to the point that many of its residents are no longer at a high risk of flooding. For that reason, flood insurance will no longer be considered a necessity.