FEMA issues new draft flood maps throughout Placer County

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Some Placer residents can look forward to lower flood insurance premiums now that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has issued new draft flood maps for the region. But in a number of areas, including some mapped for the first time ever, flood risk has increased and may change flood insurance requirements and costs for some property owners.

A 90-day public review period began in June to allow residents to submit technical information to appeal changes to the maps if they believe the flood plain determinations to be inaccurate. FEMA also joined the city and county representatives at several community meetings in June to explain the map changes and answer questions about the maps and National Flood Insurance Program.$0 $0The new maps are considered preliminary and should go into effect once they’re made final in about a year, after a public review and appeal period.

The maps cover the entire county, including cities as well as Placer’s unincorporated areas. Over time, water flow and drainage patterns change, so the new maps more accurately reflect the flood risk in Placer County. An estimated 619 parcels are no longer shown in high-risk flood zones on the new maps and 712 estimated parcels have been added to high-risk flood zones. The number of affected parcels is approximate, as it reflects a comparison of the current flood insurance rate maps, which are paper maps, and the new draft digital flood insurance rate maps. Residents whose properties are affected by map changes will be notified by mail in the coming weeks.

FEMA’s flood insurance rate maps identify where flooding is likely to occur in the areas studied (along major creeks and rivers), and establish flood insurance premium rates and whether flood insurance is mandatory for properties with federally-backed mortgages.

Since FEMA last mapped Placer’s flood plains in 2001, many communities have earned high ratings in FEMA’s Community Rating System, which offers discounted rates under the National Flood Insurance Program to communities that reduce flood risk through smart flood plain management and public outreach and education. Because of Roseville’s $20 million investment in flood protection, it remains the nation’s only community to achieve the highest class 1 rating. This means Roseville property owners receive up to a 45 percent discount on flood insurance. Placer County’s unincorporated areas have a class 5 rating, putting the county among the top 100 or so of the nearly 1,400 communities that participate in the program nationwide.

While we have a lower flood risk than many areas in the Sacramento region, flooding is still of great concern to our area,” said Ken Grehm, executive director of the Placer County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. “Even minor flooding can be very costly, so we encourage everyone to have flood insurance even if they live in a moderate to low-risk flood hazard area.”

The preliminary maps are available for review now on FEMA’s website. To view the specific map for your area, first consult the index maps for the western and eastern portions of the county to find the identification number of the more detailed map, then view or download the specific map for your area from this website. The City of Roseville has also created an interactive map that includes data for all of the cities in Placer County.  View the map by visiting www.roseville.ca.us/publicworks and enter a specific address in the search field.

A 90-day public review period will start in June to allow residents to submit technical information to appeal changes to the maps if they believe the flood plain determinations to be inaccurate. FEMA will join city and county representatives at several community meetings in June to explain the map changes and answer questions about the maps and National Flood Insurance Program.