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Flood Control

The Tulare County Flood Control District is currently involved with and co-sponsoring several flood control project areas within the county.  Such projects include completing feasibility studies for Deer Creek, White River and Frazier Creek to evaluate improvement projects to manage flood waters in and around the communities of Earlimart, Allensworth and Strathmore while providing for groundwater recharge best management practices.

In 2004, the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) completed the construction of a series of fusegates in the spillway that raised the lake elevation an additional 21 feet to provide a greater protection against flooding.  The ACOE is also conducting seismic remediation studies of Success Dam but have been delayed due to budget cuts through the ACOE.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to offer flood insurance to properties located in special flood hazard areas (SFHAs).  In order to qualify for flood insurance, a community must join the NFIP and agree to enforce sound floodplain management standards. For more information about the NFIP, visit www.fema.gov.

The NFIP offers flood insurance, which can be purchased through property and casualty insurance agents.  Rates are set and do not differ from company to company or agent to agent.  These rates depend on many factors, which include the date and type of construction of your home, along with your buildings level of risk.

The County of Tulare has taken steps to be a part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which means the County of Tulare agreed to manage flood hazard areas by actively adopting minimum regulatory standards as set forth by FEMA.  As part of the county’s participation in the NFIP, individuals are eligible to obtain flood insurance.  You can find out more information on purchasing flood insurance by calling the County of Tulare Resource Management Agency at (559) 624-7000.
FEMA’s Map Modernization Project is a comprehensive effort to remap the county’s flood risks using the latest flood modeling and digital mapping technologies. The City of Visalia partnered with FEMA to ensure local input into the process.

On June 16, 2009, Tulare County adopted the new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) as part of this project which resulted in several thousand properties being moved into SFHAs while some properties moved out of the SFHA.  To determine if your property is located in a SFHA you can use FEMA’s Map Service Center link below. You can also print out a FIRMette from that site, showing your particular location to assist with any difference of opinion should your lender require you to purchase flood insurance.

For the FEMA Map Service Center, click here

To find out if you are located in a floodplain, contact the Tulare County Resource Management Agency at (559) 624-7000 or visit us at 5961 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia, CA  93277.

If you need technical assistance or confirmation letter, please contact the Tulare County Flood Control Division at (559) 624-7000.  It may be possible to remove your structure from a SFHA, under several criteria, by filing an application for a letter of map change through FEMA.  A licensed land surveyor or engineer can assist you in this process.  See Forms MT-1 & MT-2 using the links below.

Useful Links:

Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance

FEMA Flood Map Look-up by Address

FEMA related forms

FEMA MT-1 Application Forms and Instructions for Conditional and Final Letters of Map Amendment and Letters of Map Revision Based on Fill
FEMA MT-2 Application Forms and Instructions for Conditional Letters of Map Revision and Letters of Map Revision

For Tulare County Flood Control Commission Meeting Agendas and Minutes, Click here

It is the goal of Tulare County to apply to the NFIP’s Community Rating System (CRS).  The CRS is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements by discounting flood insurance premium rates to the community’s residents reflecting the reduced flood risk resulting from community actions meeting the three goals of the CRS:

1.    Reduce flood damage to insurable property;
2.    Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP; and
3.    Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.