Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks announced Wednesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has increased the city’s Community Rating System ranking to a Class 8 in the National Flood Insurance Program.

The NFIP looks to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures throughout the country. The city has made efforts throughout the last few years to combat constant flooding issues from Little River in the past.

The NFIP encourages communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations and offers “affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses,” according to its website.

“I commend you on your community actions and your determination to lead your community to be more disaster resistant,” Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration official William Lesser wrote in a congratulatory letter to the city. “This commitment enhances public safety, property protection, and protects the natural functions of floodplains, and reduces flood insurance premiums.”

Hendricks gave credit to the Hopkinsville Surface and Stormwater Utility Board and Community and Development staff for their efforts implementing numerous effective flood-control measures. The utility was established in 2005 by the Hopkinsville City Council.

According to New Era archives, In August 2005 dozens of homes were flooded from Little River. In 2006 former Mayor Rich Liebe and Christian County Judge Executive Steve Tribble issued a state of emergency in the county in an attempt to prepare residents for a possible major flood.

In 2016, Little River flooded subdivisions surrounding Old Clarksville Pike, forcing some residents to evacuate.

In Oct. 2016, Hopkinsville was ranked a Class 10 in the NFIP. A news release from the city stated that with the improved ranking, many flood insurance customers will become eligible for an up-to 10% discount on their insurance premiums.

“We are proud of the work of our Surface and Stormwater Utility Board and their continued efforts to save our residents money through discounts in the flood insurance program for those that are eligible,” Hendricks said in a statement. “I recognize that achieving an improved Community Ratings System is no small feat and appreciate all of the hard working professionals that made this happen.”

The CRS is a voluntary program for NFIP communities. For additional information contact the surface and stormwater utility at 270-887-4035.

Reach Jon Russelburg at jrusselburg@kentuckynewera.com or 270-887-3241.

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