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Effective Planning, Better Rating Prompts Lower Flood Insurance Premiums 

About a year ago, the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System issued a new Class 6 ranking for Knoxville, improved from a Class 8 ranking. That might sound dull, but the better ranking triggered an extra 10 percent discount in flood insurance rates for Knoxville property owners.

In fact, the Class 6 ranking was the best in Tennessee, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency when the rankings were announced in October 2019.

This is the current floodplain map for Second Creek at World's Fair Park and the Tennessee River downtown.
Above: This is the current floodplain map for Second Creek at World's Fair Park and the Tennessee River downtown.

The improvement in flood protections and lower insurance premiums didn't happen randomly. 

They're a byproduct of effective City Engineering planning and practices to try to anticipate and reduce the potential for flooding. 

"Our aim is always to work proactively with property owners to mitigate the risk for flooding and avert property damage," said David McGinley, the City's Stormwater Engineering Manager.

The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management. The City of Knoxville has participated in the CRS since 1985 and is one of about 1,500 entities in the country that participate. Knoxville's Class 6 ranking is in the top 10 percent nationally.

Among the criteria used in making the rankings: 

- Floodplain management planning, including adoption of and updates to the Knox County, Knoxville and Town of Farragut Multi-Jurisdiction Local Hazard Mitigation Plan

- Higher regulatory standards for new construction and enforcement of relevant building codes

- Preservation of open spaces in high-risk floodplain areas

- Flood data maintenance and mapping services that are publicly available

Last Friday, Engineering Director Harold Cannon notified members of City Council of the latest updates to the 2018 Multi-Jurisdiction Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, which were recommended by a planning committee on Sept. 9, 2020. 

Most of the updates involved clarifications in language or updated the listing of the members of the planning committee. The most substantive update was to reflect the change in the CRS rating, which increased the discount for property owners' flood insurance from 10 to 20 percent.

Posted by evreeland On 09 October, 2020 at 3:44 PM