Gastonia approved for lower flood insurance rates

Section of floodplain map in Gastonia

Thanks to efforts by the City of Gastonia, owners of homes and businesses in high-risk sections of the floodplain will get a discount on their flood insurance.

FEMA recently approved Gastonia’s application to become part of a nationwide program to reduce flood damage to homes and buildings that have the greatest risk of flooding. Because the City is now in FEMA’s Community Rating System program, properties in the Gastonia City limits that are located in the Special Flood Hazard Area will get a 5 percent discount on flood insurance premiums.

“Being accepted into the CRS program is a good first step,” said Assistant City Engineer and CRS Coordinator Tucker Johnson. “The City of Gastonia hopes to achieve even greater discounts for flood policies in the future,”

Gastonia has 453 structures in what’s called the Special Flood Hazard Area. This is shown on floodplain maps as land with at least a 1 percent chance of flooding in any given year. The majority of Gastonia’s flood-prone homes and businesses are along Catawba Creek and were built before floodplains were mapped and before regulations were adopted to restrict floodplain development.

Homes and businesses in a Special Flood Hazard Area that have a federally backed mortgage are required to have flood insurance. The new 5 percent discount will be automatically applied to qualifying flood insurance policies in Gastonia issued or renewed after Oct. 1, 2018.

FEMA’s Community Rating System is intended to reduce flood damage and reduce the number of flood insurance claims in the United States each year. CRS gives credit to participating communities for floodplain mapping and development regulations, flood-damage reduction, public information about flood hazards, and flood warning and response.