Detroit regularly faces the hazards of flooding.  Flooding can happen anytime from the spring through the fall—even winter if warmer than usual temperatures lead to rain rather than snowfall.  Flooding tends to be caused by heavy rain: the faster the rainwater reaches the river channel, the more likely it is to flood. Heavy rainfall can also overburden the sewer system.  Check out the resources below for important information on the dangers of flooding:

What is a floodplain?

A floodplain is an area adjacent to a river that is subject to flooding. 

FACT: Floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster and cause millions of dollars in damage every year.

What can you do to help prevent flooding? 

Water conservation! During heavy rainfall and snow melt, cutting consumption can make a difference when storm water threatens to overwhelm the system. Flush less, delay doing laundry, taking showers or running the dishwasher.

FACT: Homeowners and renters insurance does not typically cover flood damage. 

Is flood insurance necessary?

Flood insurance is important and can pay regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration. Flood insurance is necessary and can be the difference between recovering and being financially devastated. 

Community Rating System

The city of Detroit through its Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department has petitioned the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) program.  

The National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the CRS:

  1. Reduce flood damage to insurable property;
  2. Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP, and
  3. Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.

In order to become eligible, Detroit had to have received a favorable Community Assistance Visit (CAV) performed by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Water Resources Division (MDEQ-WRD).  The CAV Report was finalized in August of 2015. Upon completion, the Mayor requested to officially enroll the city in the CRS program with a letter to FEMA dated September 30, 2015. The request indicated that we will cooperate with FEMA, the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), and the CRS verification process to ensure that our credited activities are fully earned and warranted.

We held our initial conversation with ISO staff on August 15, 2016 and conducted our required site visit on November 29, 2016, at which time several activities were outlined that the City could participate in to receive credits in the CRS.  Documentation of the City’s participation in the outlined activities was sent to ISO staff on April 21 and April 27 of 2017.  The City’s activities were scored by ISO and we received a total 1156 points.  This amount of points results in a CRS ranking of 8 for the City of Detroit.  This classification will be effective, starting October 1, 2017, for the next five years, unless the City submits a modification.  As a result of the CRS ranking of 8, residents who live in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and are mandated to maintain flood insurance on their property, can receive a 10% discount on the cost of their flood insurance.  Also, other Detroit residents who live outside of the SFHA, but still wish to have flood insurance on their property, can receive a 5% discount on their flood insurance.   

The discounts will be applied automatically upon renewal of the flood insurance, so when it is time for the resident to renew their flood insurance, there will be a line item in the invoice from the insurance provider showing a 10% reduction due to community participation in the CRS.  

Environmental Affairs also maintains copies of Flood Insurance Rate Maps and Flood Insurance Studies for review.  For more information you can contact: