Fort Collins stormwater efforts

From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Kevin Duggan):

Flooding is part of our city’s history back to its beginning. A flash flood on the Cache la Poudre in 1864 wiped out an Army post in Laporte. The camp was moved east to a higher point along the river and it was named Fort Collins.

The city has seen several floods since then. In 1997, after about 14 inches of rain fell on the west side of town, little Spring Creek flash flooded. The flood killed five people and caused an estimated $200 million in damage.

Fort Collins Utilities was recently recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, for its work in stormwater. The city received a Class 2 rating under the Community Rating System, or CRS.

The program is intended to be an incentive for communities to pursue floodplain management efforts that exceed minimum requirements of the National Floodplain Insurance Program.

The city was one of only five communities in the nation to receive a Class 2 rating or higher. It was the only community recognized in FEMA’s Region VIII.

The designation means residents and businesses may receive up a 40 percent discount on flood insurance premiums for properties in floodplains mapped by FEMA.

CRS recognizes management efforts such as planning, public outreach, floodplain mapping, high regulatory standards, drainage system maintenance, flood warning and response, and so on, according to FEMA.

So the recognition is a big deal for the city and its professional stormwater enthusiasts. Their work was apparent during the fall 2013 flood that devastated parts of Northern Colorado but caused minimal damage in Fort Collins.

So it’s a good thing somebody cares about stormwater, right?

To learn more about flooding and what the city does to prepare for it, see http://www.fcgov.com/utilities.

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