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Posted on: November 8, 2021

Spearfish Floodplain Administrator wins national award

Floodplain Administrator Tonya Vig

SPEARFISH, SD - City of Spearfish Floodplain Administrator Tonya Vig was recently recognized with the 2021 Larry R. Johnston Local Floodplain Manager of the Year award, presented by the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM)

According to the ASFPM website, this national award “commemorates the life and work of Larry Johnston (1945-1990) who was finishing his work on the highly-acclaimed National Assessment of Floodplain Management at the time of his untimely death. This award seeks to recognize outstanding individual efforts and contributions at the local level” and is designed to honor a certified floodplain manager who is responsible for the development of a distinguished local program or activity. 

The ASFPM, founded in 1977, is a scientific and educational nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the risk and impacts of floods on people and communities. In describing the 2021 Larry R. Johnston Local Floodplain Manager of the Year award recipient, the ASFPM webpage describes:

Tonya Vig works tirelessly … to keep the City of Spearfish safe from flooding. A substantial portion of the city is in a mapped floodplain, so she works with a large percentage of the population on a day-to-day basis. Tonya’s job is not well understood by the general public [… while] enforcing both the federal and local regulations, but she does so without complaint and not a small amount of grace.

She also upholds the highest level of ethical and technical standards. Tonya not only works hard to keep up with the flood of single-homeowner questions and requests that she gets daily (she is the only one in the floodplain department) but also manages to maintain the city’s standing in the Community Rating System, actively works to keep the various floodmaps up to date, and organizes and coordinates education events with FEMA for the local engineers and surveyors as well as other floodplain administrators in the area. She is considered the “local expert” that area floodplain administrators in the surrounding municipalities and counties reach out to for questions. Tonya’s ability to accomplish all of these tasks with relatively limited resources was something that really resonated with many of the judges reviewing award nominations.

City Engineer Kyle Mathis described how deserving Vig is of the award.

“She is one of the most knowledgeable floodplain managers in the state, provides excellent customer service to the public, and has consistently improved the quality of the floodplain administration during her 16 years of employment with the City,” he said.

More information about the award winners is available here.

Floodplain Administrator Tonya Vig Photo Caption: City of Spearfish Floodplain Administrator Tonya Vig was recently recognized with the 2021 Larry R. Johnston Local Floodplain Manager of the Year award, presented by the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM). Photo courtesy City of Spearfish