New Maps Show Flood Risks Have Changed
On July 20, 2023, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released updated preliminary flood hazard maps for the Munds Park area in Coconino County. These maps show that roughly 100 properties have been mapped into the newly drawn Special Flood Hazard Area.
The new flood maps are known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and they show the extent to which areas in the Munds Park area are at risk of flooding. FIRMs are used to help determine flood insurance and building requirements. The new maps 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 maps can be found at www.coconino.az.gov/3141/Munds-Park. A Flood Risk Open House meeting is also being held in person and online.
The preliminary flood maps were developed by FEMA in partnership with Coconino County Flood Control District. 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 risk modeling techniques, new scientific data and a comprehensive pre-release 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 initial 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).
If a property owner is planning new construction or improvements to their home or business, then design requirements may also change based on the new flood risk information.
An in-person flood risk open house has been scheduled for September 18, 5:30 p.m. at the Pinewood Country Club, 395 Pinewood Blvd, Munds Park, AZ 86017. This open house will allow Munds Park residents and business owners to learn more about the updated flood maps and how properties may be affected. On-hand experts will share steps that property owners can take to protect their investment. For those unable to attend in person, a virtual open house will be held online on September 13 at 6:30 p.m. More details can be found here.
More information about the mapping project is available at the project website. 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.