Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
December, 2014
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This Month's Articles

Changes at Thurston County Superior Court

(More) Changes at Thurston County Superior Court

County Benefits from “JBLM Day of Service”

It’s official!

Health Systems Doing a Good Job of Tracking Illnesses

Families Welcome New Members

Perfection is Reality for County Waste Water Treatment Plant

Less Leftovers, More Joy

The Klondike Kings and the telegraph to nowhere

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Website Disclaimer
 New FEMA Flood Maps Available.

They can be found online or in person.

New Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) for Thurston County are now available at the county’s Emergency Management website, and at the Permit Assistance Center at the County Courthouse.

In the late 1990s the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began converting the nation’s outdated paper Flood Insurance Rate Maps to a digital format. The updated maps, discussed at a local public meeting May 9, show the current level of flood risk on properties throughout Thurston County. Changes on the new maps are based on new ground elevation data, giving the DFIRMs a higher accuracy regarding the local landscape. Based on the new data, 342 properties that are now in the flood zones could be removed from the zones when the new maps are adapted early next year. About 100 properties that are currently not in the flood zone could be added.

Changes in flood risk classification may affect mortgage loan requirements. If a property, formerly outside a flood hazard area, is now inside a flood hazard area on the new DFIRMs, a mortgage holder may require the owner to carry flood insurance.

Owners of properties subject to change in status (either being removed or included in a flood hazard zone) are encouraged to contact their flood insurance broker regarding optimum times to purchase flood insurance. For example, purchasing a policy prior to the expected adoption of the new DFIRMs in January, 2012 may qualify a property owner for lower rates rather than waiting until the maps are adopted. More information is available by calling Jeff Woodward of FEMA Region-10 Insurance 425-487-4600.

Regardless of mortgage status, property owners in or near flood zones are encouraged to carry flood insurance. National Flood Insurance Program policies, available through most insurance companies, pay claims whether or not a federal disaster is declared.

Through mitigation and preparedness actions, the county has earned a 25% discount for flood insurance rates available to residents of unincorporated Thurston County. This translates into an average annual savings of $238 per property. Flood insurance is also available to renters and can cover nonresidential buildings such as farm and commercial buildings. The National Flood Insurance Program will also cover structures that have been previously flooded. There is a 30-day waiting period after the first payment is made before the policy is effective. Information on the National Flood Insurance Program is available at 1-800-638-6620 or at

By Keith Eisner

A stream can easily become a torrent. A stream can easily become a torrent.