City Employees Hope New Initiative Will Reduce Flood Insurance Costs

The City of Niceville hopes to leverage the community’s goodwill to keep storm drains clear and to reduce flood insurance prices for the whole community going forward. 

The City of Niceville announced its “Adopt-A-Drain” initiative at its city council meeting in October. City of Niceville GIS Employee Samantha Hanson, a Niceville native, began the initiative after reading about a similar program in a city in Wisconsin. 

City residents can select a storm drain and clean it out at least four times yearly. The idea is that a cleaner storm drain will move water more effectively and reduce the chances of localized flooding. 

a woman speaks from a podium
Niceville GIS Unit employee Samantha Hanson speaks to the Niceville City Council about the new Adopt-A-Drain initiative.

“This will help bring down flood insurance costs for the whole city,” Hanson told the council. 

Hanson referred to the CRS, or Community Rating System as one of the ways the program could help lower flood insurance costs. The system, which you can learn more about here, 

allows for flood insurance costs to be reduced based on localized factors, like the number of Adopt-A-Drain Participants in an area.

In addition to reducing the risk that your home gets flooded and the reduction in flood insurance for residents – the adopters of the storm drain will be able to name their storm drain. Some early adopters of the program in the city have already named their storm drains “The Big Gulp,” “Don’t Look Down Here,” and “Pennywise.” Participants will also receive a corrugated plastic sign to put into their yards to notify others they participate in the program. 

Citizens who participate in the program are asked to check their storm drains before large rains and regularly during hurricane season. 

“It impacts everybody. not only does it keep our waterways clean and so forth, but it helps with something else you picked up on – it helps flood insurance,” Mayor Dan Henkel told Hansen as she stood at the podium to present the idea, “So that’s awesome.”

While other council members listened to the presentation, Councilman Sal Nodjomian was busy signing up on the website. “This is so much fun,” he added while adopting a drain, “You actually get to upload a picture of your drain,” he added over laughs from the crowd, “This is the best thing that has happened all day!”

Other residents who want to participate in the program can check out the link here. 

Names of Adopted Drains:

These are the names of the drains already adopted in Niceville:

Eddie’s Complaint Box – Armando Fraizer

Great Expectations – Armando Fraizer

Come on in, the water’s fine – Roadside Towing

Honey Hole – Roadside Towing

Drain “The Rock” Johnson – Sparks

Ranger Tunnel – Zednanreh

The Comments Section – Mid Bay News

My News Feed – Mid Bay News

Alley Drain – Alley Drain 

Boris – Hanson

The Big Gulp – Hanson

Pennywise – Tree Huigger

Alexander the Grate – Niceville City Manager

Mullet Creeker – Rhonda Tolbert

A storm drain adopted in the Niceville Adopt-A-Drain Program

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