Q. When will the project be complete, and how long will I need to purchase flood insurance? ( City of Camarillo - Calleguas Creek )
A. Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in March of 2010. Completion of this project and changes to the flood insurance rate maps by FEMA is currently estimated to be at least a two year process barring any unforeseen construction or permitting issues. We are anticipating that residents will expect to need flood insurance for at least 2 to 3 years from the 1/20/10 effective date.

Q: What is a levee?
A: A levee is an embankment built alongside a river to prevent high water from flooding bordering land.

Q: What is the 100-year floodplain?
A: The 100-year floodplain is defined as the area that would be covered by floodwater during a 100-year storm event. In storm water management, floods are classified by statistical probability of occurrence. A 100-year flood, for example, is a flood event that has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year. The magnitude of a 100-year flood is determined from historical data and precipitation patterns within the watershed. Floodplain boundaries vary along a channel depending on such factors as topography, soils and vegetation, the size of the watershed, and the condition of the channel. These boundaries may also change over time as the watershed is developed or the channel is altered. In addition, the floodplain may be redefined as new or revised statistical data becomes available.

Q: What is required to certify a levee as providing protection from the base flood?
A: In order for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to recognize a levee system as providing protection from the base flood (one percent annual chance or 100-year flood), it must meet, and continue to meet, minimum design, operation and maintenance standards established in Section 65.10 of the NFIP Regulations. The design criteria include, but may not be limited to, requirements for freeboard, closure devices, embankment protection, embankment and foundation stability, settlement and interior drainage. Public agencies must have complete operation and maintenance plans. The operation plan for the levee may include, but is not limited to, procedures for closures, interior drainage systems, and emergency measures. The maintenance plan should detail responsibility and frequency of maintenance necessary to ensure the integrity of the levee system. All items necessary for a levee system to be recognized as providing protection from the one percent annual chance flood must be certified by a registered professional engineer. The certification requirement is different if a federal agency has responsibility for the levee.

Q: Will rates be reduced when a flood control project is partially completed?
A: The answer to this question depends on whether the flood control project provides an adequate level of protection and if it involves federal funding. If the project is federally funded, then FEMA will revise the FIRM to show changes in the floodplain if the critical features of the project are under construction, 50 percent of the total cost has been expended, and 100 percent of the funding is authorized.

If a flood control project does not involve federal funds, FEMA would handle a map revision request as a Conditional Letter of Map Revision. The project sponsor must submit engineering and technical information to document the level of protection, how the floodplain is modified, the structural integrity of the project, and operations and maintenance requirements. The FIRM would be changed after the project is complete and "as built" plans have been certified and submitted to FEMA.

Q: The Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) shows my property in the mapped floodplain, but the ground my house sits on is higher. I believe I shouldn't be shown in the floodplain. What are the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) requirements for being removed from special flood hazard area?
A: To be removed from the floodplain show on the FIRM, a structure must be on land that is not subject to flooding by a 100-year flood. Remember, more severe floods can and do happen, so even if your home is found to be on high ground, it still may be damaged by an extreme flood event.

Q: What do I need to know if my property is in a floodplain?
A: Property in a special flood hazard area shown on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) may be damaged when flooding occurs. In fact, it has a 26 percent chance of getting flooded over a 30-year period and five times more likely to be damaged by a flood than by a severe fire. FEMA recommends that property owners in special flood hazard areas buy flood insurance through their insurance agent or the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If you buy a home or refinance your home, your mortgage lender or banker may also require flood insurance.

Q: Tell me about Flood insurance?
A: Property owners within the flood zone depicted in the Federal maps would be required to buy flood insurance. The cost could be upwards of thousands of dollars per year, per property. When the map becomes effective, Federal regulations require homeowners to get Flood insurance, if they have a federally guaranteed mortgage (Visit www.FloodSmart.gov or consult your lending institution).

It is important that people who will end up in this new flood zone obtain flood insurance before the map becomes effective. In doing so, people can lower their eventual cost for flood insurance. FEMA decides the timetable for flood map processing.

Q: Will residents have to carry flood insurance during Levee repairs?
A: The requirement for insurance will be lifted only when repairs are complete and certification is achieved.

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The Ventura County Watershed Protection District would like to share with you the latest developments and anticipated path toward SCR-1 levee rehabilitation and ultimate FEMA certification. We invite you to view the presentation, ask any questions you may have, and provide valuable project feedback!

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