By C. Ashley Couch, P.E., CFM
Graphic Courtesy of the City of Scottsdale

Mortgage holders of more than 500 northwest Scottsdale properties are now able to cancel their flood insurance due to flood map changes that recently went into effect. In particular, homes in Scottsdale’s 85266 zip code are impacted.

The Flood Control District of Maricopa County, in partnership with the city of Scottsdale and the city of Phoenix, asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to update its Flood Insurance Rate Maps for a portion of northwest Scottsdale and northeast Phoenix to make them more accurate. FEMA’s flood insurance rate maps identify flood hazards, assess flood risks, and provide data to guide local stakeholders in taking effective actions, resulting in safer communities.

Based on these changes, the 100-year floodplain became smaller, removing the floodplain from hundreds of properties. Flood insurance is no longer mandatory for mortgage holders of buildings that are now excluded from the floodplain boundary.

Fifty Scottsdale buildings will remain in the revised floodplain boundary and 25 Scottsdale buildings were mapped into the new floodplain. Mortgage holders of these 25 buildings will now be required to carry flood insurance pursuant to federal law, since the more accurate floodplain boundary shows that these buildings are at risk of flooding on a 100-year storm.

Mortgage holders of buildings no longer within the floodplain can request a flood hazard determination online and provide the information to their mortgage company with their request to cancel flood insurance.

Because severe weather and flooding can be unpredictable in the desert, Scottsdale urges residents to consider carrying flood insurance even though it will no longer be mandatory for mortgage holders of buildings now excluded from the floodplain boundary.

Have questions? Contact the city at 480-312-4317 or e-mail acouch@ScottsdaleAZ.gov. Visit ScottsdaleAZ.gov to learn more about Scottsdale’s stormwater program. Learn more about national flood insurance at fema.gov/flood-insurance.

C. Ashley Couch, P.E., CFM is the Drainage and Flood Control Program Manager and Floodplain Administrator for the City of Scottsdale.