Welcome to the flood plain

FEMA decides Chico creeks pose risks

Homeowners in Butte County lowlands should check their mortgage contracts and prepare to buy flood insurance now that FEMA has designated Big Chico Creek and other local waterways as risks for overflowing.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is deaccrediting a number of levees in the county, including six in Chico. Their protection factors into the Flood Insurance Rate Map (whose digital version is known as DFIRM); factoring them out means much of Chico and some other county areas will be considered part of a flood plain.

In a letter to Chico Mayor Ann Schwab, FEMA Mitigation Division Director Sally Ziolkowski wrote that “mandatory flood insurance requirements … will apply in this area when the countywide DFIRM becomes effective, tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2010.”

For more information on mitigation, check www.fema.gov (click on “Flood Insurance, Maps, and Information”).