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Am I In A Flood Zone?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is currently updating the maps used by insurance companies to determine whether your home is at risk of flooding and to what degree. For some residents, that means paying a premium they've never had to pay before. This map shows FEMA flood zone data loaded into Google Earth.


  • dark red - high risk (one percent chance or greater of experiencing a flood each year)

  • pink - low to moderate risk (.2 percent chance)

  • gray - insufficient data or risk is too low to warrant a detailed analysis

  • yellow - incomplete data (surveys still pending)

Use this map to get an idea of where the flood zones are, but for the most accurate information about your property, visit and enter your address to get a "One-Step Flood Risk Profile." You'll get a full report including your risk level, your estimated insurance premiums and a list of insurance agents in your area.

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Thank you for your story on FEMA's flood zone mapping project. I have suspected that many thousands of SoCal residents -- like me -- are caught in this surreal prospect of having to buy flood insurance in a drought-stricken semi-desert. It would make FAR greater sense for there to be an earthquake insurance requirement.

Has flood plain insurance been mandatory since 1973 to obtain a mortgage?

Morgages obtained before 1973 shouldnt be effected.

Mortgages issued after 1973 should have been disclosed by the selling agent that the property was in the flood plain.

The Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, US Code TITLE 42 CHAPTER 50 Sec. 4001 holds the lender (mortgage company, lender or broker) responsible for making the determination whether a property to be financed is located in a special flood hazard area and if flood insurance is required. Those homes noted by a survey or mortgage lender to be in the "100 year flood plain" will require flood insurance in order to obtain a mortgage.

Re - flood zones in Southwest LA: Who's kidding?! Where's the water to come from? I used to live just a few blocks west of the western perimeter of this "flood zone" and there wasn't any high water ANYPLACE when it rained! That "red" area is all flat, as is the neighborhood at least as far west as Crenshaw, so a flood on one street will be a flood on every street. When I was a little kid, in the 1940s, there were some localized "high water spots" in the southwest part of LA, but not here. How is flooding defined? I would say "flooding" means that the water comes up on your lawn and heads toward your front door. For that, you used to go to Culver City and Palms! (But I think their poor drainage was corrected long ago.) Ask anyone who grew up in LA before the mid 50s where they used to like to go "splashing" in a car -- they'll tell you where the "flood zones" were! We NEVER went splashing in southwest LA; try Long Beach Boulevard and Lakewood Boulevard, though. They were great and guaranteed to flood the engine of a car that wasn't well sealed! Pacific Boulevard in Huntington Park was pretty notorious, too; merchants even had special little wooden bridges they'd put out so people could walk across the flooded street to go shopping.

This looks like just one more way to squeeze money out of homeowners.

I too am in a flood zone area and live in Lake Elsinore which is more like a dust zone. Flood zones are another way for the feds to rip off hard working people who have to give up some things just to pay the outragous premiums. Flood zone defined as living in an area with a 1% chance of flooding in 100 years doesnt that cover the entire earth?

I understood just about everything except when occasionally a little gray box with some sort of (?) U-Turn arrow, or turn-around arrow - appeared...please explain.


Flood zone, fire zone, earthquake zone, tornado zone, hurricane zone, heat zone, freeze zone, tsunami zone, meteor strike zone, volcano zone, lava flow zone, mudslide zone, sink hole zone, water main break zone, high wind can go on forever. There is not one person living on this planet that will always be safe from natural occurances! FEMA can use any calculation they want to justify that there is a 1% chance anything can happen and they will! If they can do it for floods than everything else is now open. If I had a 99% chance of winning in Vegas I would be there everyday. FEMA is betting on a 99% chance that they will win, great odds for them. You get the 1% cahnce of winning, sounds almost criminal!

We must look deeper into "What does FEMA really want?" I can't wait to hear more about the suit in California. Just making an educated guess based on FEMA's past performances and monetary problems, I bet they have "connections" and sleeping with more than just insurance company(ies) for "kick backs." There is more here than what meets the can bet on it!! The whole deal is just to "slip-shot", 1970 maps, many counties like LA, never even looked at the maps to confirm anything for FEMA, and you get a bill?? Give me a break!!

I bought my house 11-99 and i was not in a flood zone. In I think it was 2000-01 the city came in or some one cleared out all the the drainage ditches along Edwards st. Slater st. and at the end on my street Altamirano in Huntington Beach. They were rocked lined and full of growth. So they made them wider deeper and cement lined them. Then they called this area a high risk flood zone. Which if I'm not mistaken there has never been a flood claim in this area. My neighbor has lived there for about 40 years and he said the water has never came higher than the curb. When I first had to pay flood insurance it was $538.00 the year Katrina hit New Orleans when it was time to re-new it went to $1038 and now it is $1307 and I called a friend in Tampa Fl. and he pays about $250.
I want to know why the people in this area are being discriminated against. Because Fema says they are worried about the 100 year flood, a sumami and the dam breaking off the 91 freeway. If any of those were to happen almost all of Huntington Beach would be flooded.
This is a crime!!!! The likely hood on my house being damaged by a earth quake is far greater than a flood. California is in a drought!!!!!!! MB

I cant believe that FEMA has done it again. We saw it with Katrina and now this.Why cant the Govt see that this is some BS.I'm a resident of south central for 36yrs and have never seen any flooding yet. Im very upset and will appeal this situation because the bank wont give me a loan without having this flood insurance on my first piece of property. Another way of taking from the working class WOW!!!!!


i recently purchased a home and was put into a flood zone. i have a creek 3 ft wide and 6 inches deep and im in a ae zone. it cost me 1800 this year. this is criminal. how can this creek flood anything. the Government on this issue is wrong and feels like corruption

I bought a home November 2005 just after the Katrina. 3 days before closing, my mortgage company said I needed to by flood insurance. I did buy it, and was enscrowed in my mortgage making the payment higher now. I thought I had coverage and 3 months later the mortgage company said I had no flood insurance. The insurance agent said it was to late. The mortgage company went through there own which put me on the highest flood insurance. A buyer in order to close had to have flood insurance, because payment was not made somehow through the mortgage company who then gave me the highest flood rate that made my payment go from 1127 to 1404. I paid some of it out of pocket to make the mortgage payment go down. I went through hell and back and again to find out that I'm not on a flood plain and the zone was wrong. I live near the highest flood zone, but the house and yard was on a lower zone. I went through many calls and paper work with the city and county. I had 5 deaths in the family in this time and let it go. I recently got the zone to change back to x which was it when I bought the house. The insurance agency refund a portion 2037 to 361 is a lot. I now have to change my mortgage company zone to x to lower mortgage payment. The mortgage company still has it as the highest level but did change the payment amount. I had 2 flood insurance, one is going back to the last 3 years with them and the 2nd policy change came in the refund is not here yet. I faxed the information to the first flood insurance never to be heard from again. The will take your money, but never want to give it back. My state found a mistake in taxes 2005 and wanted it back with interest. I just want my principle back. This a legal way of taking many tax payer money. Need help getting back your money from flood insurance, I will help. I know more about flood insurance than I want too.


Fellow Americans, I to have been determined to be in a flood zone in Amarillo Texas just when I tried to refi at a lower interest rate, the bank was trying to discorage the refi, because they lied about the Flood determination 3 years before, so between the banks and Insurance companies and of course our dear uncle sam....we are going to be forced out of home ownership, IF WE LET we need to all get together and join in on lawsuits against FEMA etc. can anyone tell me if they are aware of the actual suits currently filed in this conspiracy against the American Dream?

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