FLAGSTAFF, AZ — Some Flagstaff-area residents are being encouraged to immediately purchase flood insurance due to wildfire-related flooding threats.
The City of Flagstaff sent out a notice Friday that preliminary flood hazard modeling is showing specific Pipeline Fire-impacted areas may be especially susceptible to damaging water.
Residents at risk of flooding will be able to get insurance through a federal program called the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which is managed by FEMA.
ABC15 spoke with Chris Thomas of Insurance Professionals of Arizona about how after wildfires, those at risk will be able to get flood insurance quicker.
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 provides an exception, that the 30-day waiting period does not apply if:
- The covered property experiences damage caused by flood that originated on Federal land; (2) Post-wildfire conditions on Federal lands caused or worsened the flooding; and
- The policyholder purchased the policy either:
- (i) Before the fire containment date; or
- (ii) During the 60-calendar-day period following the fire containment date.
“There is an exception to it because of it being a result of wildfires, there is only a one-day waiting period,” said Thomas.
The National Flood Insurance Program says just one inch of flood water can cause more than $25,000 in damage.
Those in the following areas should consider immediately purchasing the flood insurance, per the city of Flagstaff:
- Creighton Estates
- Forest Hills
- Coyote Springs
- Anasazi Ridge
- Coconino Estates
- Ridge Crest
- Rock Ridge Estates
- Clark Homes
- North End
- Downtown Flagstaff
- Flagstaff Townsite or Southside and whose homes are located within a FEMA Zone A, AE, AH, or shaded X
A map provided by the city shows the specific areas impacted by the recent Pipeline Fire.
"It is important to note that the Pipeline Fire has not impacted the Spruce Wash Watershed and accordingly, the flood risk for neighborhoods impacted by Museum Fire post-wildfire flooding remains the same," the city said.
The City of Flagstaff wants to remind homeowners that homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage, and that flood policies must be purchased separately. Properties in a post-wildfire flood environment may be eligible for expedited coverage, according to the city. It's important to note that there may be a waiting period for the policy to take effect.
“Flood insurance is the only way for residents to be compensated for flood damage on private property,” the city said in a press release.
If you need help purchasing a flood coverage policy, there are a few resources to know about:
- National Flood Insurance Program: If your insurance agent is not aware of the procedures for selling flood insurance policies, contact NFIP at 1-877-336-2627 for a referral.
- Find a local insurance agent at www.floodsmart.gov.
- Check if your home is in a floodplain by entering your address on this FEMA website.