With the snowmelt season approaching, the Town of Vail is issuing its annual reminder to area property owners to review their current insurance policies and consider adding flood insurance to the coverage. As of April 25, Vail snowpack levels were at 43 percent of normal. Gore Creek saw some early runoff due to warm temperatures in March but recent snow and cooler temperatures have slowed streamflows to about normal for this time of year. Spring runoff typically peaks between late-May and mid-June in Vail. Even with reduced snowpack, 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 are available online. 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 (FEMA). 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-FEMA-MAP (336-2627) or available at msc.fema.gov. The Town of Vail is a member of the National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP), which allows every property owner in Vail the option to purchase flood insurance, regardless of the property’s location.
Area streams most prone to flooding include: Black Gore Creek near The Heather and 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, Public Works crews will begin daily water level checks at approximately 90 locations throughout the town, including culverts, catch basins and bridges. Nightly checks are added to the rounds once the peak run-off season hits.
Also, the town will provide free sand material and empty bags upon request for residents and businesses who wish to safeguard their property from the possibility of high water. Call the Public Works Department at 970-479-2158 to make arrangements.
Homeowners interested in adding flood coverage to their insurance policies are encouraged to call their insurance agents to check availability. In addition, NFIP offers information on floods and flood insurance, including local agents who provide the coverage, online at 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 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 county wide information, contact Barry Smith with Eagle County Emergency Management, at 970-328-3545.