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Coconino County announced today that updated, digital flood hazard maps for the Munds Park area are available for public review and comment.
The flood maps, known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), show the extent to which areas recently re-mapped in the Munds Park area are at risk of flooding. These flood maps are used to help determine flood insurance and building requirements. They replace maps that were based on studies more than 30 years old.
Residents and business owners can use the maps to obtain reliable information about their current flood risk on a property-by-property basis. The maps also provide flood zone and elevation data. These help community planners, engineers, builders, and others decide where and how new structures, developments, and remodeling projects should be built. Information about the mapping project and how to view the final maps can be found at www.coconino.az.gov/3141/Munds-Park. A Flood Risk Open House meeting is also being held.
“Flooding is an increasingly frequent and costly problem throughout this part of Arizona. It is not just in high-risk areas,” said Lucinda Andreani, Deputy County Manager and Coconino County Flood Control District Administrator. “Having more accurate and easily accessible maps is an important step in understanding the risk. This helps guide residents in taking steps to mitigate the risk and insure against it.”
The preliminary flood maps were developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in partnership with Coconino County. The process included an extensive, multi-year review of the changes brought about by environmental, land use, and other forces. It used state-of-the-art aerial mapping and flood risk modeling techniques, new scientific data, and a comprehensive pre-release technical review.
In reviewing the maps, some property owners in the Munds Park area will find that their risk is higher or lower than they thought. If the risk level for a property changes, then requirements for flood insurance and building standards can change as well. FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has a cost-saving rating option to help reduce the cost of flood insurance. This applies to property owners whose properties’ flood risk has gone from moderate-low risk to high-risk (e.g., flood Zone X to Zone A).
An in-person flood risk open house has been scheduled for September 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Pinewood Country Club. This open house will allow Munds Park residents and business owners to learn more about the updated flood maps, including how properties may be affected. Steps will be shared that they can take to protect their investments. For those unable to attend in person, a virtual open house will be held online on September 13, 6:30 p.m. More details can be found at www.coconino.az.gov/3143/Munds-Park-Flood-Risk-Open-House-Date.
The updated FIRMs are still preliminary and have neither been officially adopted nor become effective. In addition to the virtual public meeting, there will be a Public Comment Period, which is targeted to run this fall. Property owners can submit appeals – if they can show that the maps are technically or scientifically in error – and comments. Once all appeals and comments are received and addressed, the maps are expected to become effective next summer. At that time, the new flood insurance requirements will take effect.
More information about the mapping project is available at the project website: www.coconino.az.gov/3141/Munds-Park. Individuals with general questions about the local map update efforts can also call the Flood Control District at 928-679-8881 during business hours or email FEMAFloodMap@coconino.az.gov. For information about flood insurance, contact your local insurance agent or visit www.FloodSmart.gov