Flooding & Flood Risks

Flooding


Throughout the City of Fremont, the land is flat and storm water runoff is extremely slow. As a result there are numerous areas of the City in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. SFHAs, or floodplains, are defined as areas that are at high risk for flooding. These areas are indicated on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).

Flood Maps


To identify a community's flood risk, FEMA conducts a Flood Insurance Study (FIS). The study includes statistical data for river flow, storm tides, hydrologic/hydraulic analysis, and rainfall and topographic surveys. FEMA uses this data to create the flood hazard maps that outline different flood risk areas. FIRMs allow you to identify SFHAs, determine the location of a specific property in relation to the SFHA, determine the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) at a specific site, locate regulatory floodways, and identify undeveloped coastal barriers where flood insurance is not available. FIRMs were traditionally published in print format for use by insurance agents, lenders, and floodplain managers and administrators, but with increasing technology these maps are now available in interactive digital formats. The following is a link to the FEMA Flood Map Service Center; simply enter an address, a place, or longitude/latitude coordinates to find a flood map:

FEMAs Flood Map Service Center

Flood Insurance


In 1968 Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to provide insurance to assist citizens with the financial losses related to floods. Individual communities must participate in the NFIP for citizens and business to qualify to purchase flood insurance. Standard homeowners’ insurance policies to not typically cover damage related to flooding. Call 888-379-9531 for more information regarding flooding, flood risks, and the National Flood Insurance Program.

Fremont participates in the NFIP Community Rating System (CRS) so discounted flood premiums may be available.

Flood Development and Redevelopment


A participating community must regulate three types of building construction in the SFHA (in both V zones and A zones):
  • New construction - structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain management regulation adopted by a community and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures;
  • Substantial improvements to existing buildings - any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement; and
  • Repairs of substantially damaged buildings - damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.

If a building is significantly damaged by any cause, not just by flooding, the community’s floodplain administrator—who may or may not be the local building official—must determine whether the building is substantially damaged, as defined above. FEMA does not play a direct role in this determination. Rather, FEMA’s role and that of the NFIP State Coordinator is to provide technical assistance to local officials who administer community ordinances that meet the NFIP minimum floodplain management requirements.

A Floodplain Development Permit (FDP), in addition to other permits of the City, is required before construction or development begins within any Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). FDPs are required to ensure that proposed development projects meet the requirements of the NFIP and the community's floodplain management ordinance. Contact our offices in order to obtain an FDP prior to commencing work.

Resource Links


FEMAs National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) - Program Overview
Floodsmart.org (The Official Site of the National Flood Insurance Program)
Upcoming Changes Coming to the NFIP - What to Expect
CRS Elevation Certificate (EC) Checklist
NOAAs National Weather Service Advance Hydrologic Prediction Service