City of Parsons Floodplain Information Services
The City can determine the relationship of a particular property to the floodplain, including:
- Whether the property is located within the FEMA mapped Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
- Flood Insurance Rate Map information for the property.
- Base Flood Elevation and flood depth data for property, if available.
- Whether the property is located within the floodway.
- Natural floodplain function areas that should be protected, such as wetlands.
Flood Maps & StudiesThe Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) produces Flood Insurance Studies and Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). These resources describe flood hazards based on the best available science and information available. They serve as the bases for determining when floodplain development and insurance requirements apply to structures. The City of Parsons maintains copies of all FIRM panels and the Flood Insurance Study for the City of Parsons. Contact City Floodplain Manager’s Office at (304) 478-2311 to obtain copies or for further information.
Parsons’ Floodplain BoundariesNavigate and view custom maps using the West Virginia Flood Tool, including parcels, FIRM information, and floodway and floodplain boundaries: mapwv.gov/flood/ The official online location to find all flood hazard mapping products created under the National Flood Insurance Program: msc.fema.gov/portal
Elevation CertificatesElevation certificates are important administrative tools of the National Flood Insurance Program. These are used to determine the proper flood insurance premium rate and to document elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management regulations. Elevation certificates may also be used to support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision based on fill (LOMR-F). The City of Parsons has elevation certificates on file for many properties that have been developed. Learn more about elevation certificates and check to see if the City has an elevation certificate on file for a particular property.
Flood InsuranceHomeowner insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. However, because the City of Parsons participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, federally-backed flood insurance is available for all structures, whether or not they are located within the floodplain. This insurance can be purchased through most insurance agents. More than 25 percent of National Flood Insurance Program claims are filed by owners of properties located outside the 100-year floodplain. Following the purchase of flood insurance, the National Flood Insurance Program imposes a 30-day waiting period, so residents should purchase insurance before the onset of the rainy season to ensure coverage during the flooding season.
When Flood Insurance is RequiredFederal financial assistance requires the purchase of flood insurance for buildings located within the 100-year floodplain or Special Flood Hazard Area—a requirement that affects nearly all mortgages financed through commercial lending institutions. This requirement stipulates that structural coverage must be purchased that is equal to the amount of the loan or other financial assistance, or for the maximum amount available, which is currently $250,000 for a single-family residence. While the mandatory flood insurance requirement has been in effect for many years, not all lending institutions enforced this requirement in the past. Today, however, most institutions require that flood insurance be purchased, and some are reviewing all mortgage loans to determine whether flood insurance is required. Upon refinancing a loan, nearly all lending institutions will enforce the mandatory flood insurance requirement. It is the lender’s responsibility to check the Flood Insurance Rate Map to determine whether a structure is within the Special Flood Hazard Area.
Flood Insurance Rates and CoverageFlood insurance rates are calculated on a variety of factors, including flood hazard, elevation, and building construction. Rates can vary drastically, so it is best to contact a licensed insurance agent to determine the premium for your specific property. FloodSmart provides samples of policy premiums and contacts for local insurance agents. The National Flood Insurance Program insures homes and buildings with two types of coverage: structural and contents. Structural coverage includes walls, floors, insulation, furnaces, and other items permanently attached to the structure, typically excluding basements. Contents coverage may be purchased separately to cover the contents of an insured building. More information about flood insurance and a complete list of structural and contents coverage can be found in The National Flood Insurance Program’s Summary of Coverage brochure. Just because your home or building is in the floodplain, does not mean that you can’t reduce your flood insurance premiums. In fact, your building may have been built in a way that increases the cost of your annual premiums. FEMA’s Cheaper Flood Insurance brochure identifies the most common causes of high flood insurance rates and provides options that could reduce the amount you pay.
Community Rating SystemThe National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum National Flood Insurance Program requirements. The CRS program recognizes a community’s efforts to reduce flood risk, facilitates accurate insurance ratings, and promotes the awareness of flood insurance. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded the City of Parsons a Class 8 rating, allowing Parsons residents to receive a 10-percent discount on flood insurance premiums. Participation in the CRS program acknowledges Parsons’ efforts that help save lives and reduce property damage in the event of a flood. The City of Parsons continues to make improvement in our CRS program and strives to improve our rating within any given year. Watch this page for updates about the City’s CRS status. For more information about the CRS program, visit: www.floodsmart.gov.
Important Insurance Facts
- Mandatory coverage is required only for insurable structures located within the Special Flood Hazard Area; voluntary coverage is available at a reduced rate for structures located outside the Special Flood Hazard Area.
- Over the course of a 30-year mortgage, there is a 1 in 4 chance that flooding will damage a property in Parsons’ 100-year floodplain.
- A lender can require flood insurance, even if it is not federally required.
- Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. From 2010 to 2014, the average residential flood claim amounted to more than $39,000. In 2014, the average flood insurance policy premium was about $700 per year. Flood insurance is the best way to protect yourself from devastating financial loss.
Contact InformationThe City Floodplain Manager is available to answer flood insurance questions. Please visit them at City Hall, 341 Second Street, Parsons, West Virginia, or call (304) 478-2311. Visit the FEMA website for additional information regarding the National Flood Insurance Program, or contact the National Flood Insurance Program directly at 800-427-4661. They can also provide assistance to find local insurance agents that offer flood insurance.
The City Floodplain Manager’s Office has provided additional information below:
FEMA Guides and Technical Bulletins