Flooding in Washoe County
The Truckee River, and many smaller streams and tributaries throughout our community, are susceptible to annual flooding events. Washoe County has more than 100,000 acres of floodplain and nearly 4,400 individual parcels that are partially or entirely located within the floodplain. While winter flooding is most common in our community, river and urban flooding can happen anytime of year.
Please download Washoe County's Flood Awareness brochure -- it will help you be prepared in case of a flood.
National Flood Insurance Program
Washoe County has been a member of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) since 1984. NFIP membership makes available federally-backed flood insurance for all structures, whether or not they are located within the floodplain. Because NFIP imposes a 30-day waiting period, residents should plan accordingly to ensure coverage during the flooding season.
Please read our July 2014 letter about the mandatory purchase of flood insurance requirement and a related letter that seeks to assist citizens with understanding floods, the floodplain, and flood insurance.
FEMA's Community Rating System Benefits
In May 2009, Washoe County qualified to be part of the FEMA Community Rating System (CRS). The program rewards communities that initiate more than the minimum NFIP requirements to help citizens prevent or reduce flood loses. Washoe County qualified for CRS Class 7 which provides the unincorporated Washoe County residents 15% discounts on flood insurance premiums. CRS Class 7 rating will save the Washoe County flood policy holders about $100,000 per year.
The goal of the CRS is to encourage, by use of Flood Insurance Premiums reductions, community and state activities beyond those required by the NFIP to reduce flood loses, to facilitate accurate insurance rating and to promote awareness of the availability to purchase flood insurance.
Flood Insurance Rate Maps
Flood Insurance Rate Maps are the official community maps on which FEMA has delineated both the special hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to a community. The CSD Engineering & Capital Projects Division is the repository for the Flood Insurance Rate Maps for Washoe County; these maps can be viewed online or reviewed in our office.