FEMA Floodplain Information

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. To reduce the impacts of flooding on communities, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires communities like King City to manage development in floodplains and publishes maps of floodplains.  These maps are used 1) by the City to manage development through our Community Development Code (CDC) and 2) by lending institutions and companies that offer flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA requires local governments to manage floodplain development in order to reduce flood damages and for property owners to be eligible for public flood insurance.

FEMA and King City have updated the flood maps and made CDC amendments as of October 17, 2018.

What is a floodplain?
The term “floodplain” is shorthand for the area that has a 1% chance of flooding in any given year (aka, the “100-year flood event”). FEMA calls this area the Special Flood Hazard Area, and there are a number of codes that provide managers with more information about the type of flooding or flood study.

Note that the outer floodplain boundary indicates an annual probability of flooding of AT LEAST 1%; the closer a property is to a waterway, the greater the likelihood of it flooding.  This YouTube video has a great explanation.

How do I determine if a structure or property is in the floodplain?
FEMA provides online access to flood maps here. However, it’s still a good idea to contact the City Planner, Keith Liden, at (503) 757-5501 or keith.liden@gmail.com (please give the address).

The requirement to carry flood insurance is based on a property containing buildings that touch the floodplain. There is greater than a 1 in 4 chance that a home in the floodplain will be flooded during a 30-year mortgage, 27 times more likely than a fire.

Flooding can and does occur outside of the floodplain, although it is less likely. Flood insurance for buildings not in a mapped floodplain is much less expensive than policies for buildings that are in a floodplain, and worth having if you’ve had issues with water inundation from storms.

Conventional homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies do not cover flood losses.

How might changes to floodplain maps affect me?

  • Certain areas of the City may be brought into the Regulatory Floodplain, and structures within the Regulatory Floodplain would be subject to the requirement to carry flood insurance. 
  • Certain areas of the City may be removed from the Regulatory Floodplain, and structures in those areas may no longer be required to carry flood insurance. (It’s up to the mortgage lender, though.)
  • Rates on flood insurance premiums may change.

More about flood insurance
There are potentially discounted premiums for buildings that are “newly mapped” into the floodplain. Flood insurance is available for personal property as well as for structures. Flood insurance premiums can vary based on characteristics of the structure, such as its elevation.

Visit FloodSmart.gov to learn more about insurance, premiums, and ways to lower rates. Flood insurance is available and advisable for buildings that are prone to flooding regardless of whether a lender requires it or whether the official FEMA maps show the property as within the regulatory floodplain.

Development and flood risk
The City has been using the 2016 flood maps to evaluate and manage new development since their release as preliminary data in the mid-2000s. The City also requires a 1-foot “freeboard,” or margin of safety, for buildings in the floodplain, which further helps reduce flood damages.


Other King City FEMA Information

Properties potentially affected by flooding in King City

Citywide area map (891KB PDF)
South part of City (1MB PDF)
Southwest (744KB PDF)
Southeast (626KB PDF)

Flood Insurance Study Information

FIRM Part 1 (6MB TIFF)
FIRM Part 2 (12MB TIFF)
CDC 16 140 Draft 72816 (200KB PDF)
Flood Insurance Study Vol 1  Revised 10/19/2018 (2MB PDF)
Flood Insurance Study Vol 2  Revised 10/19/2018 (5MB PDF)
Flood Insurance Study Vol 3  Revised 10/19/2018 (5MB PDF)