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On October 1, 2007, King County was awarded a Class 2 rating under the CRS, which provides a 40 percent discount on flood insurance premiums for property located within special flood hazard areas and a 10 percent discount in non-special flood hazard areas within unincorporated King County. King County is the highest rated county in the nation under the CRS program.
The following cities in King County participate in the CRS:
CRS communities are awarded points for their local floodplain management activities that exceed the NFIP minimum standards. Communities are placed into classes ranging from Class 10 (lowest class) to Class 1 (highest class) based on the total number of points accrued and other specific CRS requirements. All participating communities start out as a Class 10, which offers no flood insurance premium discount, and each class increase results in an additional 5 percent premium discount. A community attaining a Class 1 CRS rating is awarded a 45 percent discount in flood insurance premiums.
The CRS program contains 18 groups of activities under which communities can acquire credit, and these groups are organized under four overarching categories: public information, mapping and regulations, flood damage reduction, and flood preparedness. King County receives CRS points in 17 of the 18 creditable activities; King County’s CRS efforts are summarized below.
King County provides a range of public information relating to floodplain management for which CRS credit is awarded. Examples include:
» Read more about how to prepare for floods.
Mapping and regulations
Since 1993, the county has completed detailed floodplain mapping studies on more than 143.9 lineal miles of river in King County. Flood hazard mapping activities account for approximately 12 percent of King County’s overall CRS credit. King County also maps channel migration hazard areas and is working toward incorporating U.S. Geological Survey mapping of lahar hazards (i.e. volcanic debris flows).
» Learn more about the King County mapping program.
King County has preserved more than 100,000 acres of open space within the regulatory floodplain and receives additional CRS credit for maintaining those properties in a natural state (i.e. disallowing development) to provide beneficial floodplain functions.
King County has adopted several regulations that exceed the minimum National Flood Insurance Program standards, including, but not limited to:
» Look up King County regulations related to flooding.
King County also receives credit for maintaining surveyed benchmarks, geographical information systems flood data layers and copies of all flood insurance rate maps issued for the community.
» View an interactive map with flood and channel migration areas (requires a popup window).
King County’s Surface Water Design Manual earns the county CRS credits for water quality and quantity standards.
» Read more about drainage and water quality.
Flood damage reduction
King County conducts a wide range of outreach projects each year in an attempt to mitigate FEMA repetitive loss properties within unincorporated King County. In total, King County has purchased and removed more than 40 structures from the floodplain since 1993 and subsequently restricted this land from further development.
King County has an active home/structural elevation program and has elevated over a dozen structures.
» Learn more about King County’s buyout and elevation program.
The 2006 King County Flood Hazard Management Plan was prepared and adopted under the CRS 10-step planning process.
» Read the 2006 Flood Hazard Management Plan online.
Paper copies of the 2006 King County Flood Hazard Management Plan are also available to read at the following King County Libraries:
CRS credit is provided to recognize King County’s annual inspection and maintenance program of its drainage system, along with a capital improvement program to repair problems areas.
» Learn more about King County drainage maintenance.
King County receives CRS credit for its Flood Warning Center operations, as well as the County’s “Storm Ready” designation by the National Weather Service. In addition, King County received CRS credit for the Washington State Dam Safety program for dam operations on several of the major rivers in King County.
» Visit our flood warning Web site.
King County’s Community Rating System recertification evaluation report assesses the county’s progress toward implementing the 2006 King County Flood Hazard Management Plan’s 10-year action plan and recommendations. The plan serves as the comprehensive plan for the King County Flood Control Zone District.
» Learn more about the King County Flood Control Zone District.
The current CRS Recertification Evaluation Reports are available at:
Where can I get more information about the Community Rating System?
Visit the CRS Resource Center Web site (external link).
Where can I get more information about the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)?
Visit the FEMA Web site (external link).