Miami-Dade County, Florida – Last week marked a significant advancement for Miami-Dade County in its efforts to combat the challenges of climate change and flooding. Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, along with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell, announced a major achievement for the county in the realm of flood insurance and preparedness.
Miami-Dade County has been upgraded to a Class 3 community in the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System (CRS). The new classification brings with it an estimated annual saving of $12 million. This saving is achieved through a 35% discount on flood insurance premiums for qualifying residents and business owners in unincorporated Miami-Dade County.
The significance of this development cannot be overstated. Administrator Criswell praised the efforts of Mayor Levine Cava and her team for their commitment to resilience in the face of increasing climate threats. The commendation from Administrator Criswell highlighted the positive impact of these efforts: enhanced preparedness for future flooding events and substantial discounts on National Flood Insurance Program policyholders’ premiums across the county. Miami-Dade’s actions set an example for communities nationwide on how to effectively reduce flood risk and lower insurance costs for residents.
This achievement is a direct result of the flood mitigation activities spearheaded by the Division of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) of Miami-Dade County’s Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER). These activities are focused on protecting lives, minimizing property damage, and building resilience against flooding and sea level rise. Miami-Dade County’s remarkable progress, advancing from a Class 5 to a Class 3 in the CRS, is a first in FEMA’s history where a community has been upgraded two class levels in a single cycle verification. This feat places Miami-Dade County among the top-ranking communities nationwide, being the largest to achieve a Class 3 or better rating.
Mayor Levine Cava emphasized the tangible benefits of investing in climate resilience. The county’s efforts are not only creating a safer, more resilient community for the present and future but also providing significant financial relief for families grappling with the rising costs and impacts of climate change.
The announcement, made at the Belen 1 Stormwater Pump Station in West Kendall, was attended by notable figures, including Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners Oliver G. Gilbert III and District 12 Commissioner Juan Carlos Bermudez. The presence of homeowners and business owners, who stand to gain from these insurance policy savings, underscored the real-world impact of the county’s initiatives. The Belen 1 Pump Station, part of the county’s extensive stormwater system, is a crucial element in the drainage mitigation efforts for the area, which has historically been affected by severe storms.
Miami-Dade County’s investment in stormwater infrastructure is impressive, with $1 billion spent over the past 33 years and an additional $1 billion planned under Mayor Levine Cava’s administration. These efforts, especially in the past two years, have accelerated projects to upgrade infrastructure and implement vital flood mitigation activities.
Owners of homes and businesses in the Unincorporated Municipal Service Area (UMSA) of Miami-Dade County will be eligible for a 35% reduction on most policies issued or renewed under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) starting April 1, 2024.