Bald Hill Road

A pickup drives through the water covering Bald Hill Road from Yelm Creek in 2017.

With the arrival of fall, the Thurston County Emergency Management department is reminding homeowners and renters that national flood insurance is the only dependable form of financial protection against flood damage.

“Standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover damage from flooding, and just a few inches of floodwater inside a home can cost thousands of dollars to repair,” said Sandy Eccker, emergency manager for Thurston County. “Homeowners shouldn’t count on federal disaster aid. Federal disaster assistance is available only for federally declared disasters. Even then, most disaster assistance is inadequate to cover the cost of the damage and comes in the form of a loan, repayable with interest.”

National Flood Insurance Program policies, available through most insurance companies, pay claims whether or not a disaster is declared.

Flood insurance is also available to renters and can cover nonresidential buildings such as farm and commercial structures. The National Flood Insurance Program will also cover structures that have been previously flooded.

The Emergency Management department urges citizens to purchase flood insurance now because there is a 30-day waiting period after the first payment is made before the policy is effective.

Because the county has completed several flood mitigation and preparedness actions, residents of unincorporated Thurston County can get up to a 40 percent discount for flood insurance.

Information on the National Flood Insurance Program is available at 1-888-379-9531 or


Flood Preparedness Tips and Resources:

• Sign up for Thurston Community Alert (TCALERT) to receive disaster and emergency notifications at: 

• Follow Thurston County Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter.

- TCEM on Facebook: ThurstonEM

- TCEM on Twitter: @ThurstonEM

• Download a copy of the Fall 2019 Thurston County Flood Bulletin for facts about flooding, preparedness checklists, evacuation tips, important phone numbers and more at:

• Track river levels for rivers throughout Thurston County at:

• Find road closures and other weather-related road updates on the Thurston County Public Works Winter & Storm Response web page at:

For more information on Thurston County Emergency Management, visit

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