City flood insurance rating improves

By Vanessa Kahin

STAFF WRITER

vkahin@cnjonline.com

Planning and Zoning Administrator Louis Gordon approached the Clovis City Commission during a regular meeting Thursday at the Clovis-Carver Library north annex with a shiny, framed award and a smile.

He informed the commission the city of Clovis has achieved a level 8 rating with the National Flood Insurance Program. The lower the rating, the higher the rewards for those who live in a special flood hazard area and who have to pay for flood insurance: Rates for these individuals have gone down by 10 percent.

The odds of a flood occurring in a special flood hazard area is 1 percent, Gordon said. The odds of a flood happening in other areas is .2 percent.

For NFIP policy holders living outside the high flood hazard area, the policy has been reduced by five percent.
Gordon said the level 8 rating was effective as of Oct. 1, 2013. It is reflective of many changes he helped put into place following a visit by an insurance services office representative in December 2012.

Once at a class 10 rating, the ISO representative shared ideas on how Clovis could improve and earn points toward a higher rating.

“We implemented a lot of those changes,” Gordon said.
Activities that helped Clovis garner the points necessary to increase its rating included open space preservation, namely, Ned Houk Park. Maintaining the park, which is in a special flood hazard area, earned Clovis points because the city is not building in the area.

Digitized maps that show the day-to-day maintenance of the floodplain on the city of Clovis’ website also garnered points.

The city of Clovis Public Works Department has also been inspecting the city’s drainage systems regularly and perform maintenance as needed, Gordon said. This, too, has helped Clovis increase its NFIP rating.

The city received an award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for its flood management efforts.
Gordon does not consider himself done with his work, and plans to get started on helping the city achieve a class 7 rating.
Clovis currently has 1,133 points on the NFIP point system chart. It needs 1,500 points to be a class 7 city.

A class 7 rating would mean another flood insurance discount.

“I am going to be working diligently to get those 367 points to get that increase to a class 7,” Gordon said.

 

Fast facts
What: A map depicting FEMA’s flood hazard area.
Where: At the city of Clovis’ website, www.cityofclovis.org. Click on the “Services” tab, then click on “Maps.”