Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sacramento Flood Insurance Changes Coming Soon! Are YOU Prepared?

I had the chance last week to watch a presentation by an engineer from SAFCA (Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency) regarding flood control initiatives in the greater Sacramento area. I had no idea there were so many different flood control measures in effect in our areas. According to their research, Sacramento's risk of flooding is the greatest of any major city in the entire US (including New Orleans), due mainly to the confluence of major rivers and the low elevations.

Our levees were initially constructed to protect agriculture, however over the last 150 years Sacramento has become an urban area. We always hear about how our levees need to be made stronger, but doing so just scratches the surface of the overall flood control plan. For example, did you know there is an initiative underway to create a gated auxiliary spillway designed to allow Folsom Dam to safely pass 450,000 cubic feet per second to relieve pressure from its other spillways?

DO YOU OWN PROPERTY IN NATOMAS? On December 8, 2008 (less than 6 weeks from today), the new Natomas Basin FEMA flood maps take affect, and thousands of Natomas area residents will be required by their mortgage companies to purchase flood insurance. If owners purchase now, they will be eligible for a reduced "preferred risk" rate. This reduced rate then will be "grandfathered" in, and allowed to be carried over. If owners wait until they are forced to obtain insurance by their mortgage companies, they will get the "standard risk" rate, which is more than double the annual premium rates.

If you are wondering if your parcel falls into a flood zone, you can reference the Preliminary Natomas Floodplain Maps from FEMA. Contact your insurance agent with specific questions...

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