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Changes Coming for Flood-Prone Areas

The City of Sioux Falls has an adopted ordinance regarding floodplain management. The ordinance also sources the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) in order to determine where special flood hazard areas are located within our community. During the next year, there will be changes coming to the flood control system and the insurance program, and there will be a heightened awareness of flooding by citizens.

The City is nearing completion of the flood control system within Sioux Falls in order to reduce the risk of flooding due to snow melt and/or rainfall events. There are at least three phases to the completion of this project: The completion of the construction was substantially done during the summer of 2013, the certification of the completed work which should be done the summer of 2014, and then the revisions to the FIRM maps by FEMA.

Sioux Falls S.D. (KELO AM) - The National Flood Insurance Program will implement changes on October 1, 2013, resulting from the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. Information is online atwww.siouxfalls.org or www.FEMA.gov. With these program changes, insurance premiums will go up from 1 to 25 percent, as explained below:

  • Pre-FIRM AE Zones: Premiums will increase 16 percent to reduce the amount of subsidy in their Pre-FIRM rates.
  • X Zones (zones outside the Special Flood Hazard Area).
    • Standard-Rated Policy: Premiums will increase 8 percent.
    • Preferred Risk Policy (PRP): Premiums will increase an average of 1 percent. This increase consists of:
      • A 19-percent premium increase for policies written under the PRP Eligibility Extension.
        • Less than 1 percent for all other PRP policies (i.e., for PRPs on buildings that are currently mapped outside the Special Flood Hazard Area) due to the increase in the Federal Policy Fee.

Other FIRM changes effective October 1, 2013, include new reserve fund assessments, exclusions of certain properties from receiving subsidized premium rates, no extension of subsidy to new policies or lapsed policies, and an increased Federal Policy Fee.

Citizens of Sioux Falls should all be aware of what flood risks exist and ways to mitigate these risks. While our region has been experiencing a dry year and a wet spring, Colorado just experienced 500-year storms and record damages.