The Village of Wheeling is currently preparing for the National Flood
Insurance Program Community Rating System (CRS) review. The review
takes into account various aspects of flood prevention infrastructure in
the village and ultimately decides the percentage of savings a resident
receives for flood insurance. One of the important aspects of the
review is a village’s preservation of open space within the floodplain.
By having the floodplain clear of structures and impervious surface
area, the village receives a higher score due to the lower possibility
of damage occurring.
For the village to receive credit for open space preservation, it had
to create a list of village owned properties that had areas in the
flood plain. Then, the square footage of each area within the floodplain
had to be calculated subtracting out any impervious surface area such
as roads, sidewalks, parking lots, etc… which was then compared to the
entire area of floodplain within the village. The final ratio of open
space to flood plain is then used to determine the overall score for
open space preservation.
By using GIS, the village was able to save a significant amount of
time by using base map data that already existed and floodplain areas
provided by FEMA. By using GIS to calculate the areas of open space and
impervious surface area for each property, the village did not have to
spend time going through building plans and calculating everything by
hand. The CRS review is not until later in the year, but by tackling the
Open Space Preservation section now, there will be time later to make
adjustments to the data.