Reminder from Town of Vail: Time to review your flood insurance policies
VAIL — With snowmelt season approaching, the Town of Vail has issued its annual reminder to area property owners to review their current insurance policies and consider adding flood insurance to that coverage.
As of May 1, Vail snowpack levels were at 68 percent of normal. Gore Creek is flowing about normal for this time of year. Spring runoff typically peaks between late May and mid-June in Vail. While the current snowpack is typical, emergency managers caution that flood conditions can occur with sustained warm temperatures. A minimum 30-day waiting period may be required before a new flood policy comes into effect.
Floodplain maps for the town are available at http://www.vailgov.com/maps. The maps indicate the approximate floodplain locations in Vail, and can be used as a reference for homeowners to determine whether their property is located near a floodplain area.
Insurance rates are based on official Flood Insurance Rate Maps created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Copies of these maps are available for review at the Town of Vail Public Works Department, 1309 Elkhorn Drive, or may be ordered by calling 1-877-336-2627 or are available at http://msc.fema.gov. The town of Vail is a member of the National Flood Insurance Plan, which allows every property owner in Vail the option to purchase flood insurance, regardless of the property’s location.
Vail-area streams most prone to flooding include: Black Gore Creek near The Heather; Gore Creek at the intersection of Bridge Road and Lupine Drive in East Vail; Mill Creek near Mill Creek Drive in Vail Village; Red Sandstone Creek near the Brooktree Condominiums; and Buffehr Creek from Circle Drive to the North Frontage Road in West Vail. As the weather warms, town crews will begin daily water level checks at approximately 90 locations throughout the town, including culverts, catch basins and bridges.
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Nightly checks are added to the rounds once the peak runoff season hits.
Also, the town will provide free sand material and empty bags for residents and businesses who wish to safeguard their property from the possibility of high water. The material will be available at two locations beginning May 22: the parking lot near the Interstate 70 interchange in East Vail and the North Trail parking lot in West Vail.
Homeowners interested in adding flood coverage to their insurance policies are encouraged to call their insurance agents to check availability. In addition, the National Flood Insurance Plan offers information on floods and flood insurance, including local agents who provide the coverage, online at http://www.floodsmart.gov.
Residents are also reminded of the importance of being prepared for any emergency by assembling a kit containing a three-day food and water supply, as well as medications, toiletries, pet supplies, flashlight, radio and extra batteries. Visit http://www.ready.gov for more recommendations on personal emergency preparedness.
For more information on Vail’s flood maps, contact Tom Kassmel, town of Vail floodplain administrator, at 970-479-2235. For countywide information, contact Barry Smith of Eagle County Emergency Management, 970-328-3545.