FEMA awards North Ogden residents with flood insurance discount

Aug 15 2013 - 10:42pm

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NORTH OGDEN -- Residents here who get flood insurance will now get a 15 percent discount.

The city received an award from Federal Emergency Management Agency last week to make it possible.

In 1975, North Ogden joined the National Flood Insurance Program, which required residents building in certain areas of the city to purchase flood insurance.

In conjunction, the city also had to meet certain requirements in those zones as well.

In 1992, the city joined FEMA's community rating system, which looks at all elements of flood plain planning and grants discounts on flood insurance if those elements are met.

Approximately 1,300 communities participate in the program nationwide, said Barbara Fitzpatrick, senior floodplain specialist for FEMA.

Eleven communities in Utah participate, but only four of those have received the high grade of 7, which grants residents a 15 percent discount on their insurance.

Rankings start at 10 and move down, but moving to a 7 in the short time the city has is a real compliment to its program, Fitzpatrick said.

"It really helps the economy of the city for North Ogden to have such a high standard," Fitzpatrick said of the high rating. "It's really an honor for a city to keep people safe."

Fitzpatrick or other members of her team visit the city every five years to inspect how its floodplain plan is working and to make sure that homes are being built in compliance with the plan. Such things as home angle, home placement on the property and the type of soil under the foundation are all parts of the plan.

"It speaks well for the city, because we all know that North Ogden is flood prone," said Mayor Richard Harris. "We know if we take precautions, in the long run, it will be good for our city."

Harris said he appreciates that those who came before him had the foresight to put the plan in place and work with FEMA to make things safe.

He also gave a lot of credit to Building Inspector Gary Kerr, who makes sure the plan is followed, especially by developers.

Harris is also glad that the plan has been in place, in light of flooding problems Weber County has experienced in the past few years. He knows that has prevented flooding in his city.

State Flood Plain Manager John Crofts was also on hand when the city received the award and gave high praise to North Ogden.

"North Ogden has never had a violation," he said. "It has never been in trouble" with the flood guidelines.

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