By: Diana Seifert, FEMA Region 10
Pierce County, Wash., has achieved a Class 2 rating under the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System . To recognize the community’s achievement, David Miller, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration associate administrator, presented a commemorative Class 2 plaque to the Pierce County Council during an April 24meeting.
“Pierce County is now the third community in the nation with a Class 2 rating,” Miller said. “This rating reflects the County’s dedication to excellence in floodplain management. The County and its residents have taken important steps to enhance public safety, reduce damages to property and public infrastructure, avoid economic disruption and losses, and protect the environment.”
The CRS is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities. It provides a reduction in flood insurance premium rates for property owners in communities that implement activities above and beyond the minimum requirements of the NFIP. These reduced rates reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions.
Communities receive credits for implementing floodplain management activities. They submit documentation to the NFIP and, according to the number and type of credits received, are assigned a CRS rating class. There are ten classes in the system.
A community rated at Class 10 is meeting the minimum requirements of the NFIP. Property owners pay standard insurance rates, with no deduction. A community rated at Class 2 has accumulated between 4,000 and 4,499 points. This means that a property in a Special Flood Hazard Area receives a 40-percent reduction in flood insurance premium rates.
“This achievement shows how seriously Pierce County takes floodplain management,” said Harold Smelt, Public Works and Utilities surface water manager. “The County has been innovative in its approach to flood risk management. We have focused on projects that protect life and property, flood preparation, our flood warning system, and outreach and education.”