Parts of Santa Clara County are susceptible to flooding every year, with any chance of storms. While Valley Water's flood protection projects have improved flood protection for more than 100,000 parcels, there are still about 66,000 parcels that are in the FEMA flood zone.
If your property is in an area shown on FEMA’s flood maps, you are at high risk for flooding during a 1 percent flood event, or a flood that has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year. While the chances may seem slim, the real odds of a 1 percent flood are greater than one in four during the term of a 30-year mortgage.
Know your flood risk
You don’t have to live next door to a creek to be impacted by flooding. Visit https://msc.fema.gov/portal to check whether your house or business is in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and learn how to interpret FEMA flood maps. You can also call your local floodplain manager to determine whether your property is in or out of a floodplain (see the phone numbers listed below).
Your floodplain manager will have information about additional problems not shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), such as flood depth data, special flood-related hazards, historical flood information and natural floodplain function areas. They can also provide you with flood insurance information and may have an elevation certificate for your property on file.
Valley Water can also assist in providing information. Contact our Community Projects Review Unit at 408-630-2650 or at [email protected], for any inquiries on basic flood information, such as flood insurance, zones, mapping, etc.
Check whether your house is in a FEMA-designated flood zone: https://msc.fema.gov/portal
View the brief video below to understand the results of your search on the FEMA Map Service Center.
If your property appears in the SFHA, federal law requires you to have flood insurance if you have a federally regulated mortgage. In Santa Clara County, whether you own a house or rent, you can purchase flood insurance at a discount from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program to protect your property from the hazards of flooding.
For more information visit: www.floodsmart.gov.