Floodplains in the Truckee Meadows, Reno and Sparks

Did you know that 100,000 acres of the Truckee Meadows lies in a floodplain?

The U.S. Government’s FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) designates two categories of floodplain:  100-year and 500-year.  A 100-year floodplain has a 1% chance of flooding in any given year….a 500-year floodplain has a .2% chance of flooding on any given year.  With that in mind, 4400 Truckee Meadows parcels lie in floodplains.

According to Builders Association of Northern Nevada (BANN), Reno had contended with flooding issues since the cities earliest days.  But nowadays, with advancements in flood protection and development design the City of Reno is more prepared than it ever has been for a flooding event.  BANN has recently launched a Floodplain Facts website to provide the community more information about development in floodplain areas.

FEMA’s Floodsmart.gov reports that just one inch of water in a home can cost more than $25,000 in damage and most Homeowner and Renters Insurance Policies do not cover flood damage.  If you are purchasing a home lies in a high risk floodplain and you are getting a mortgage or deed of trust to finance that purchase, your lender will require Flood Insurance.  The average cost of flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program is $700/year, but policy costs will vary depending on how much coverage is needed and how close to water the property is located.

When I am working with a Buyer that has a serious interest in a particular property, I will always pull a report that indicates the FEMA Floodplain level for the home.  Some buyers can afford an additional $600 to $800 in annual costs with no problem, for others it makes the property unaffordable and even prohibits them from qualifying for the home loan…but in both cases the Buyer should be aware that the property is in a high risk flooding area before entering into a purchase contract.