New Flood Map Will Save Some Scottsdale Homeowners Money And Cost Others

Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 1:52pm
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A developer convinced the city and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reconsider the floodplain area near Rawhide Wash.

Better flood modeling techniques and improvements in infrastructure could pay off for more than 800 property owners east of Scottsdale Road, from roughly Deer Valley to Happy Valley roads.

Ashley Couch, Scottsdale’s floodplain administrator, said a developer spent $8 million to improve the area. 

“They built a large channel for Rawhide Wash between Pinnacle Peak Road and Scottsdale Road,” he said. "They also built a bridge over Rawhide Wash where Pinnacle Peak crosses it. And, they built drainage channels around the northern and eastern boundary of of their development and they also put in some flood walls around the northern and eastern boundary of their development.”

After analyzing the changes and current conditions, FEMA dropped the flood insurance requirement for about 800 property owners. 

“It’s a very big deal,” Couch said. “Flood insurance costs several hundred to several thousand dollars per year for a standard policy for a homeowner.” 

But, FEMA also reclassified a section which could lead to higher insurance costs for 200 homeowners. 

Couch says those homeowners can work with FEMA to determine their individual risk. He said some could see their insurance requirements stay the same or even be dropped depending on the findings. Scottsdale city staffers can help property owners through the process.

“Whenever you’re trying to make things more accurate it’s not always great news for everyone,” he said. “But it is, I think, good news for most people in this area.”

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