The Flood Insurance Study that accompanies the new federal
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) has been received from FEMA,
and posted on Sutter County's internet site. The on-line document
describes the purpose of the study and the process by which flood
basins in Sutter County are being evaluated. New FIRMs will place
a large portion of southern Sutter County, south of Stewart Road,
in Special Flood Hazard areas once the FIRMs go into effect
(December 2, 2008).
FEMA utilized both previous and new hydrologic and hydraulic
analyses conducted by various agencies in its study. As the
result of the California Department of Water Resources
decertifying Sutter County's levees, FEMA also conducted
analyses of what would happen should levees fail. It is
advisable to get flood insurance if you live anywhere in
the Sacramento Valley. However, FEMA requires federal flood
insurance in Special Flood Hazard Areas. In Sutter
County, getting federal flood insurance before Dec. 2, 2008
will save property owners hundreds of dollars per year.
Because of "grandfathering" rules, those who wait until
after the maps are final on Dec. 2, 2008, may have to pay
more for federal flood insurance.
The study also uses new terminology. Instead of referring to
100-year and 500-year flooding risks, the study refers to
1-Percent-Annual-Chance and 0.2-Percent Annual-Chance.
The new terminology is a response to complaints that the previous
terminology used by the federal government confused property
owners into believing that disastrous flooding can occur only
once in a 100 or 500 year period.
The new flood maps are expected to be posted on the Sutter County
internet site by mid-July. The maps are being converted by County
staff to a format that has more detail.