WMD Levee Certification FAQs
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Levee Certification Program



The Los Angeles County Flood Control District analyzed the Compton Creek and the Dominguez Channel levees to determine if they meet the Federal requirements for flood protection. While the levees are structurally sound, they were found to no longer be able to contain FEMA's 100 year flood. As a result, FEMA will designate these areas as a flood zone, requiring mandatory flood insurance. The Flood Control District has begun analysis to develop improvement alternatives to address flood capacity, that include habitat restoration, aesthetic, and recreational improvements.

Q:How will I be notified if a forecasted rain event could potentially flood my area?
A:Alert and warning is performed by law enforcement. The Sheriff's Department has tools to provide advance notification to residents and businesses. Whenever possible, one or more of these tools may be used during any disaster. The tools include media press releases/press conferences, Emergency Alert System (formerly known as the Emergency Broadcast System) broadcasts, door-to-door notifications, and the recently implemented Alert LA. Alert LA is a mass notification system that uses phone calls, emails and text messaging to alert impacted residents and businesses. To learn more about Alert LA or register mobile devices, email addresses, and alternative telephone numbers, visit alert.lacounty.gov. As with any disaster, flooding may occur without warning. Please visit espfocus.org and lacoa.org/PDF/EmergencySurvivalGuide-LowRes.pdf for measures you can take to ensure your safety and that of your loved ones.

Q:Does my homeowners insurance cover damage caused by flooding?
A:Homeowner's insurance seldom covers flood damage. In most cases, property owners must purchase flood insurance to protect against damage caused by flooding. Please contact your insurance agent if you have a question regarding your policy.

Q:Where can I view FEMA's current flood maps, also known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps?
A:Visit FEMA's website and enter your address, or contact your National Flood Insurance Program Coordinator.

NFIP-Coordinator List:
City of Carson: NFIP Hotline - (310) 952-1798
City of Compton: Carolyn Webster - (310) 605-5514, cwebster@comptoncity.org
City of Gardena: John Felix - (310) 217-9643, jfelix@ci.gardena.ca.org
City of Los Angeles: NFIP Hotline - (213) 485-4820,
City of Long Beach: Robert Maldonado - (562) 570-6256, Robert. Maldonado@longbeach.gov

Q:What will happen if I do not buy flood insurance when it is required?
A:If you do not purchase flood insurance, your lender can "Force-place" a flood insurance policy on your property. Be aware this typically costs significantly more than the policy you could have purchased on your own. "Force-place" means your lender will buy a policy and bill you for it. By law, federally regulated or insured lenders must require flood insurance in high-risk areas for property on which they have issued a loan.

Q:How much flood insurance am I required to carry?
A:Under Federal law, the minimum flood insurance coverage that you must carry is the lesser of: (a) The outstanding principal loan balance for your property. For example, if you carry a $150,000 mortgage on your home, you must purchase a flood insurance policy that insures your home for $150,000; or (b) The maximum amount of flood insurance coverage that is available through the National Flood Insurance Program. Currently, this amount is $250,000 for residential and $500,000 for nonresidential properties. As an example, if you have a $300,000 mortgage on your home, you can satisfy the federal flood insurance requirement by purchasing a policy that provides you with $250,000 in flood insurance protection.

Q:Can I carry a preferred Risk Policy for as long as I am required to carry flood insurance?
A:No. Once your property has been mapped into a high-risk area, you can only renew your Preferred Risk Policy during the two year eligibility extension. Afterward, if the flood insurance was maintained, you may qualify for a standard policy instead of a high-risk area policy.

Q:What is a Preferred Risk Policy and how do I apply for one?
A:Preferred Risk Policies are a product of the National Flood Insurance Program. They are sold by most insurance agents and cost about half the price of a standard flood insurance policy. Preferred Risk Policies provide you with flood insurance protection that is the same as a standard policy, but at significant savings. Preferred Risk Policies are only available in areas of low or moderate flood risk.

Q:How much will flood insurance cost?
A:The cost of your flood insurance policy will depend on factors that include, but are not limited to, the type of property you own, the level of flood risk to your property and the amount of coverage you choose to carry. However, you can likely save money by purchasing a low-cost Preferred Risk Policy before flood insurance is required.

Q:Where do I buy flood insurance?
A:You can purchase a flood insurance policy from most insurance agents. Visit floodsmart.gov for a list of agents in your area.

Q:When will I need to purchase flood insurance?
A:Flood insurance will need to be purchased once FEMA's flood zone maps become effective, expected in late 2014 or 2015. This mandatory flood insurance requirement will apply to structures located in the flood zone that have a federally backed mortgage.

Q:How can I be kept informed on the development of alternatives?
A:Several community meetings are planned during the process of developing alternatives. Invitations will be sent to property owners within the anticipated flood zones. You may contact Mark Lombos at mlombos@dpw.lacounty.gov for updates on the development of these alternatives. Additionally, please follow the links below to view a Community Update Flyer developed to inform the community of the progress of the alternatives analysis as well as other important information.
Links:
Community Update Flyer (English)
Community Update Flyer (Spanish)

Q:What is the Flood Control District doing to address the levee's flood capacity?
A:The Flood Control District has started the process of analyzing possible levee improvement alternatives. These alternatives will not only address the flood capacity, but also consider habitat restoration, aesthetic, and recreational enhancements. The Flood Control District will also conduct extensive outreach during the development of these alternatives to obtain valuable input from the community. The alternatives are expected to be ready for discussion in 2014. For more information on the progress of the alternatives analysis, please follow the link below to view a presentation developed in September 2013.
Links:
Alternative Study Presentation

Q:How long will I need to have flood insurance?
A:Flood insurance will be required until the flood capacity deficiency for the levee protecting your property is remediated/resolved and the flood zone maps are changed.

Q:How can I reduce my flood insurance cost?
A:You can receive reduced cost flood insurance by obtaining the insurance policy 30 days before the area is changed to a flood zone. This will also qualify you for a reduced cost after the area is designated a flood zone. You should contact your insurance agent for more details.

Q:Is my property in the anticipated flood zone?
A:FEMA will develop flood zone maps based on detailed studies in 2014. Those maps will be made available to the cities and the County for public comment. In the meantime, for informational purposes, the Flood Control District has prepared maps showing estimated flood zone boundaries. Note, the boundaries shown on the maps below will likely vary from FEMA's official maps.
Links:
Compton Creek Levee Estimated Flood Zone
Dominguez Channel Estimated Flood Zone

Q:Why is it important to understand the risks associated with levees?
A:Everyone should understand that no levee system provides full protection from all flood events. Even the best flood protection systems cannot completely eliminate the risk of flooding. Levee systems are designed to provide a specific level of protection, and larger flood events can cause them to be overtopped, or fail.

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