In 2016 the City of Newport made a formal request for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS).  The CRS is a voluntary program that was implemented in 1990 that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP standards.  Under the CRS, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reward community actions that meet the three goals of the CRS, which are: (1) reduce flood damage to insurable property; (2) strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP; and (3) encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.  There are 22,000 communities nationwide that participate in the NFIP.  Of those 22,000 communities only 1,391 have done the work and been awarded the necessary credits to participate in the CRS.

A CRS community accrues points to be awarded a CRS Class rating.  The higher the rating the increasingly higher the discounts are to the flood insurance premiums paid by homeowners in the community.  Points are awarded for engaging in any of the 19 creditable activities, organized under four categories:  public information, mapping and regulations, flood damage reduction, warning and response.

“This past December we hosted a verification visit by FEMA,” said Christine O’Grady, AICP, City Planner, City of Newport in a prepared statement.  “The process was rigorous and comprehensive and involved departments throughout the city.  I am pleased to say that we have recently received a communication that our preliminary points have qualified us to pass the necessary criteria and to become a CRS city. We are awaiting our formal review points and Class ratings, which will inform the discount the Newport residents will be entitled to on their flood insurance premiums.  We are excited to join the ranks of other CRS cities nationwide.”

CRS certification is valid for 5 years but each year the community must verify that it’s continuing to perform the activities that are being credited and get annual recertification.  In addition, a community can continue to improve its Class rating by undertaking new mitigation and floodplain management activities that earn even more points.

To learn more about the CRS certification, FEMA and flood protection go to the City of Newport’s Flood Protection website at or contact Christine O’Grady at or 401-845- 5472.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.