Roseville Flood Protection Plan Recognized as a Model for the Country

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It's been 10 years since Hurricane Katrina brought wide-spread flooding to the Gulf Coast. But 10 years before that a signature flood event in Roseville sparked a flood protection plan that has now been recognized as a model for the country.

A massive rain storm in 1995 flooded out homes along Cirby Creek, although that was just the latest in a long line of flood events. Many major creeks flow through the city.

"We've had several rain events that have sparked floods over the past 50 years," said Carl Walker, Roseville's Flood Plain Manager.

A flood management plan was on the books since a flooding in 1986, but after residential streets went underwater, the city used its own resources and later federal funding to beef up levees and remove bottle necks that contributed to flooding.

It also altered development rules to reduce the number of homes in harms way and is now using a network of rain and stream monitors that can warn of impending floods as long as 72 hours ahead of time. Reverse 9-1-1, texts and e-mails are available to residents to get warnings, and stream gauges can also be monitored online.

All those efforts earned Roseville a top flood prevention rating by FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program in which nearly 1,300 communities participate.

"It's rewarding to us as a city as a whole...the department of public works works closely with other city departments in the city to ensure that we have our flood management capabilities up to that standard," said Walker.

The city must sustain efforts to maintain the rating which translates to maximum discounts for homeowners in a flood zone. August is the time of year when the city clears debris and vegetation form creek beds and banks to prevent flooding.