Flood Insurance

The City of Ephrata participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. The NFIP provides subsidized flood insurance to properties within designated Special Flood Hazard Areas.

Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Zone Information is maintained in the Planning and Community Development Department. As a public service, city staff will provide you with the following information upon request:

  • Whether a property is in or out of the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) as shown on the community's current Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) .
  • Additional flood insurance data for a site, such as the FIRM zone and depth.
  • Site visits to assist in a flood zone determination.

When inquiring about a property's status regarding the floodplain, please provide the street address, a parcel number, and if available, the subdivision lot and block number. Contact Ron Sell by any of the following methods:

  • In person:  City Hall, 121 Alder St SW - Business hours: 7:30 to 4:00
  • Telephone: 509-754-4601 ext. 124 - Please leave a voicemail with the address
  • Fax: 509-754-0912
  • Email:  Ron Sell – rsell@ephrata.org
  • Mail to: Attn: Ron Sell, 121 Alder St SW, Ephrata, WA  98823 

Information about flooding, the benefits of the floodplain, flood insurance, and retro-fitting flood-prone buildings is available at City Hall and the Ephrata Library. Check the City's web site from time to time and future issues of the City View for more information on flood plain management.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) makes federally backed flood insurance available for all structures, whether or not they are located within the floodplain. More than 25 percent of NFIP claims are filed by properties located outside the 100-year floodplain, also known as the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Homeowner policies do not cover floods. Following the purchase of flood insurance, NFIP imposes a 30-day waiting period, so residents should purchase insurance before the onset of the rainy season to ensure coverage during the flooding season.

Membership within NFIP - and the availability to City residents of flood insurance - requires the City to manage its floodplain in ways that meet or exceed standards set by FEMA. NFIP insures building with two types of coverage: structural and contents. Structural coverage includes walls, floors, insulation, furnace and other items permanently attached to the structure. Contents coverage may be purchased separately to cover the contents of an insurable building. Flood insurance also pays a portion of the costs of actions taken to prevent flood damage.

Since July 1, 1997, all NFIP policies include Increased Cost of Compliance coverage that assists with bringing structures into compliance with current building standards, such as elevating structures 1 foot or more above the height of the 100-year flood. The limit of this coverage is $30,000. 

Federal financial assistance requires the purchase of flood insurance for buildings located within the SFHA - a requirement that affects nearly all mortgages financed through commercial lending institutions. This mandatory requirement stipulates that structural coverage be purchased equal to the amount of the loan, or other financial assistance, or for the maximum amount available, which is currently $250,000 for a single-family residence. While the mandatory flood insurance purchase requirement has been in effect for many years, not all lending institutions required flood insurance in the past. Today, however, most institutions are now requiring the flood insurance purchase, and some are reviewing all mortgage loans to determine whether flood insurance is required and should have been required in the past. Upon refinancing a loan, nearly all lending institutions will enforce the flood insurance requirement. It is the lender's responsibility to check the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) to determine whether a structure is within the SFHA.

The mandatory flood insurance purchase requirement does not apply to loans or financial assistance for items that are not eligible for flood insurance coverage, such as vehicles, business expenses, landscaping and vacant lots. The requirement also does not apply to loans for structures not located in a SFHA, even though a portion of the lot may be within a SFHA. Persons located within SFHAs who received disaster assistance after Sept. 23, 1994, for flood losses to real or personal property must purchase and maintain flood insurance coverage, otherwise future disaster assistance will be denied.

The National Flood Insurance Program

The NFIP was created by Congress in 1968 to minimize the cost of disaster relief and reduce the loss of life and property caused by flooding.  The Program has four goals:

  1. Provide flood insurance coverage not generally available in the private market.
  2. Foster local floodplain management efforts in guiding future development.
  3. Emphasize less costly nonstructural flood control regulatory measures over structural measures. 
  4. Reduce Federal disaster costs by shifting the burden of costs associated with flooding from the general taxpayer to floodplain occupants.

The City's participation in the NFIP allows mortgage lenders to provide loans in the areas of special flood hazard. Without adoption of the City's Flood Damage Prevention ordinance, most mortgages would not be available in the floodplain. The Area of Special Flood Hazard in Ephrata is located generally between the canal and railroad tracks, from 18th Ave SW to about 10th Ave NW. Please contact the city for more accurate information.

Please follow these links to the FEMA/National Flood Insurance Program sites www.fema.gov and www.fema.gov/nfip to find more information.


Community Rating System Premium Discount

The City of Ephrata earned a 7 rating on its first application to the Community Rating System (CRS) of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). A 15% discount on flood insurance premiums went into effect as a result of the new rating in October 2000.  Please check with your insurance carrier to ensure the discount is in effect.