ONLY ON KOLD: Flood dangers - Tucson News Now

ONLY ON KOLD: Flood dangers

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The rushing Santa Cruz River and flooding that caused a haz-mat concern on Valencia Road are vivid memories of the monsoon's grand finale in 2011. Amada Quijada often has a front row seat to these events.

"They do get worse,” she said.

She has lived along the El Vado wash for more than a decade. As she watches the waters rise, flood insurance forces her to tread water financially.

"Unfortunately the flood insurance is more expensive than the home insurance,” Quijada said.

Water has risen above the bottom of her door and her daughter has been evacuated from the home by police.

"So they can get her out safely, because all the area was flooded,” Quijada said.

"It's a public safety issue,” said Bill Zimmerman, deputy director of the Pima County Regional Flood Control District.

The district recommends twelve projects that cost about $10.78 million to lower the flooding level in the Airport Wash area on the south side, west of Tucson International Airport to I-19. The work should protect property and cut hundreds of dollars' worth of flood insurance for many here each year.

"It lowers their rates, and it also removes the requirement to even have it,” Zimmerman said.

The boundary of the 100-year flood along the Arroyo Chico was farther north on Plumer. But after improvements and a new survey, the boundary is hundreds of feet closer, which requires fewer homeowners with federally backed mortgages to pay for flood insurance.

"Even people we take out of the floodplains when we remap, we recommend that they maintain their flood insurance. But, it's going to be at a reduced rate,” Zimmerman said.

Based on the risk, flood insurance can cost a homeowner fifteen hundred dollars a year or more.

That can be cut to less than a third of that amount, about four hundred dollars, if the district determines that the home is no longer in the floodplain, and the district lets FEMA know.

"I've seen very few restudies that put more people in the floodplain than take them out,” Zimmerman said.

Recent studies include the area south of Finger Rock, just west of Swan Road and south to River Road. The district did not add homes or structures to the floodplain but removed 39.

To the southwest of Tucson, in the Black Wash area, 243 properties were removed from the floodplain. None were added.

The good news for homeowners is that when the floodplain expands, the district usually does not tell FEMA, which keeps flood insurance rates low for those homeowners. That is welcome news to Quijada. But her main concern is something any mother can understand.

"Just making sure the kids are safe because my son has to cross the wash, actually, when he goes to school,” Quijada said.

Checking with your insurance company is always recommended. Damage caused by surface water, such as from a wash or that runs from your yard into your home, usually is not covered by homeowners’ insurance. Flood insurance is usually needed to cover such damage. Check with your insurance company.

You can check your flood risk and what you might pay in flood insurance at this link: https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/

 Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.
  • KOLD InvestigatesMore>>

  • Where the Sidewalk Stops: The fight to navigate Tucson on foot

    Where the Sidewalk Stops: The fight to navigate Tucson on foot

    Wednesday, March 8 2017 9:21 AM EST2017-03-08 14:21:06 GMT

    When Southern Arizona sidewalks suddenly stop, doubt can dictate daily travel. Cracks, cut offs and curb drops are just a few things walkers face around our city. 

    When Southern Arizona sidewalks suddenly stop, doubt can dictate daily travel. Cracks, cut offs and curb drops are just a few things walkers face around our city. 

  • Jaguar from Mexico may pose roadblock to Trump's border wall

    Jaguar from Mexico may pose roadblock to Trump's border wall

    Thursday, February 23 2017 7:20 PM EST2017-02-24 00:20:32 GMT
    Thursday, March 2 2017 5:29 PM EST2017-03-02 22:29:05 GMT
    El Jefe hasn't been photographed in a year. (Source: Conservation CATalyst)El Jefe hasn't been photographed in a year. (Source: Conservation CATalyst)

    A full-grown male jaguar named "El Jefe," and at least one other cat like it, may provide opponents of President Trump's border wall with a unique legal challenge. That is that cutting off these cats from their larger population in Mexico would doom them to re-extinction in the United States.

    A full-grown male jaguar named "El Jefe," and at least one other cat like it, may provide opponents of President Trump's border wall with a unique legal challenge. That is that cutting off these cats from their larger population in Mexico would doom them to re-extinction in the United States.

  • CAMPUSES IN CRISIS: Southern Arizona schools need millions in building repairs

    CAMPUSES IN CRISIS: Southern Arizona schools need millions in building repairs

    Thursday, March 2 2017 12:12 AM EST2017-03-02 05:12:18 GMT
    (Source: Tucson News Now)(Source: Tucson News Now)

    Southern Arizona schools are dealing with huge budget cuts and are struggling to repair, maintain and build much-needed facilities.

    Southern Arizona schools are dealing with huge budget cuts and are struggling to repair, maintain and build much-needed facilities.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • April the Giraffe

    Giraffe watch: April has busy day, fans freak out when webcam goes down

    Giraffe watch: April has busy day, fans freak out when webcam goes down

    Saturday, March 25 2017 3:23 AM EDT2017-03-25 07:23:01 GMT

    Thousands of fans who have watched the giraffe's livecam feed for over a month were startled when the feed went down temporarily Friday evening, leaving social media commenters to ask one another whether the giraffe had given birth during that time. She had not. 

    Thousands of fans who have watched the April's livecam feed for over a month were startled when the feed went down temporarily Friday evening, leaving social media commenters to ask one another whether the giraffe had given birth during that time. She had not. 

  • VIDEO: Cop calls fake IRS agent back, exchange goes viral

    VIDEO: Cop calls fake IRS agent back, exchange goes viral

    Friday, March 24 2017 12:41 PM EDT2017-03-24 16:41:00 GMT
    Friday, March 24 2017 12:41 PM EDT2017-03-24 16:41:00 GMT

    When a scam caller claiming to be an IRS agent unknowingly called a police officer and tried to scam him, hilarity ensued.

    When a scam caller claiming to be an IRS agent unknowingly called a police officer and tried to scam him, hilarity ensued.

  • Man receives sentence for taping Caitlyn the dog's muzzle closed

    Man receives sentence for taping Caitlyn the dog's muzzle closed

    Friday, March 24 2017 3:17 PM EDT2017-03-24 19:17:49 GMT

    The North Charleston man who pleaded guilty to the abuse of a dog that has since become an ambassador for the humane treatment of animals has received a sentence of five years.

    The North Charleston man who pleaded guilty to the abuse of a dog that has since become an ambassador for the humane treatment of animals has received a sentence of five years.

Powered by Frankly