Kentucky's Role in the National Flood Insurance Program
The Division of Water (DOW) is the state's coordinating agency for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In this role, the DOW establishes development and building standards, provides technical assistance to communities and agencies and evaluates and documents community floodplain management activities.
The DOW administers KRS 151, which outlines the requirements for obtaining a Stream Construction Permit for any development activities across or along any stream in Kentucky. Stream Construction Permits are issued pursuant to 401 KAR 4:060. The state's minimum criteria supersede the federal NFIP standards in that the state requires Stream Construction Permits for development in all areas across or along a stream, not limited to Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), as indicated on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). The state also requires that substantial improvements to structures be based on a five-year period in which the cumulative cost equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the structure. Substantially improved structures must be mitigated to meet today's minimum standards.
The division's NFIP coordinators provide technical assistance to all communities in Kentucky through outreach materials, training workshops, quarterly newsletters, NFIP presentations and onsite visits. They have also developed a Kentucky Floodplain Managers Handbook and a Kentucky Quick Guide for guidance in floodplain management. Check with state NFIP staff for future training workshop dates.
State NFIP staff evaluates and documents communities participating in the NFIP floodplain management activities through a contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A community assistance contact is performed by a brief phone call or site visit with the local floodplain coordinator. A community assistance visit is an intense inspection of a community's SFHAs and flood prone areas to identify any deficiencies in the community's floodplain management program. It is followed by an in-depth meeting with local officials to discuss recommended improvements.
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