Updated Maps Show Flood Risks Have Changed
On September 21, 2022, Coconino County announced that updated digital flood hazard maps for the portion of Oak Creek Canyon in Coconino County would become effective March 21, 2023. The flood maps are known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). They show the extent to which areas recently re-mapped in Coconino County’s portion of Oak Creek Canyon are at risk for flooding. These flood maps are used to help determine flood insurance and building requirements. They replace maps that were based on studies more than 30 years old. Note that the flood maps for the portion of Oak Creek Canyon in Yavapai County are still being finalized.
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. This helps 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 final maps can be found at www.coconino.az.gov/
“Flooding is an increasingly frequent and costly problem throughout this part of Arizona. It is not just in high-risk areas,” said Lucinda Andreani, Deputy County Manager and Coconino County Flood Control District Administrator. “Having more accurate and easily accessible maps is an important step in understanding the risk. This helps guide residents in taking steps to mitigate the risk and insure against it.”
The maps were developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in partnership with Coconino County, Yavapai County, and Sedona. 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 Oak Creek Canyon 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 has a cost-saving rating option to help reduce the 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).
An online virtual flood risk open house has been scheduled. This allows Oak Creek Canyon residents and business owners in Coconino County and Sedona to hear how to view the new maps. They will learn how properties may be affected. Steps will be shared that they can take to protect their investment:
Oak Creek Canyon (Coconino County) Virtual Flood Risk Open House
March 1, 2023
For online sign-in details, visit:
More information about the open house is available at the project website: www.coconino.az.gov/