Almost none of us were prepared for scenes like the one above almost 13 years ago.

Many Cedar Rapids home and business owners didn't know exactly how important flood insurance would be until over 10 square city miles flooded in 2008. A lot more of those who now choose to look into it recently got what seems to be good news from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, a new ranking system from FEMA is said to be rewarding Cedar Rapids property owners for the city's efforts at flood mitigation in the wake of the historic 2008 disaster.

With the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System, communities are ranked from a class 1-10. Classes are determined by how much each participating city is doing to improve its flood resilience. A 10 means the city is not participating and will have more difficulty getting discounted flood insurance. Class 1 means the biggest possible flood insurance discount (45 percent) for property owners because of what the city is doing to protect them. While Cedar Rapids has plenty of work to do, the city's ongoing innovative and defensive flood control efforts and communication with residents about flood insurance and hazards are why the city has been ranked a Class 6 community

Being rated a Class 6 means residents with flood insurance are getting a 20 percent discount. Certainly, as the city's flood control projects continue, our rating will improve.

There are 1500 communities participating in the flood ranking system, Cedar Rapids being only 1 of 13 in Iowa. Cedar Rapids is also one of only 18 communities nationwide better than a Class 5 community.

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