Insure Your Property
It is strongly recommended that property owners purchase both building and contents coverage flood insurance even if they own property outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area. If you do not have flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent. Under federal law, the purchase of flood insurance is mandatory for all federal or federally-related financial assistance and mortgages for properties within the Special Flood Hazard Area.
Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods; however, because Steamboat Springs participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy. This insurance is backed by the Federal Government and is available to everyone, even for properties that have previously been flooded or for properties outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before the policy goes into effect.
Be sure to keep your insurance policy documents and a record of your personal property in a safe place. Flood insurance information is available at the FloodSmart website.
Protect People and Property
City Flood Services: One of the first things to check is your flood hazard. Flood maps and flood protection references are available at the Bud Werner Memorial Library or from the Planning & Community Development department, which can provide additional data, such as depth of flooding over a building’s first floor and past flood problems. The department also processes and maintains records of elevation certificates, required for both new residential construction and substantial improvements to an existing residential unit that is located within a special flood hazard area. Elevation certificates are required by lenders prior to approving loans for structures within a special flood hazard area. City staff is available to conduct site visits to evaluate flooding threats and provide advice on mitigation techniques. The city offers free consultation regarding flood mitigation and is happy to assist. Please call 879-2060 for assistance.
The Routt County High Water Preparedness Guide (PDF) is a great resource for more information on how to protect people and property from flooding. Additional resources can be found on the Flood Protection Resources page.
Create an emergency preparedness plan for you and your family with the help of the Emergency Preparedness Plan.
Steps you can take to ensure you are building responsibly in or near a Special Flood Hazard Area:
- Obtain a permit from the Routt County Regional Building Department before you begin construction.
- Understand the City's development standards for new construction or hire someone who does.
- Speak with a City Planner regarding zoning requirements.
- Speak with the City's Floodplain Manager for information on floodplain development.
Protect the Floodplain
Floodplains serve an important role. By providing areas for flood water storage, floodplains reduce flood velocities, peaks, and sedimentation. Floodplains also help recharge aquifers, improve water quality, and provide wildlife habitat. Steps to protect and enhance the natural functions of floodplains:
- Protect and reestablish natural areas by planting native vegetation.
- Limit development and impervious services within floodplains.
- Plant native vegetation and trees within floodplains.
- Manage stormwater effectively by treating stormwater on-site and in upland areas to reduce contributions to the floodplain.
- Promote parklands, open spaces, and recreational uses in floodplains.