San Mateo’s History of Flood Zones


San Mateo Joins NFIP
December 1974, San Mateo joined the National Flood Insurance Program in anticipation of San Mateo’s first Flood Hazard Boundary Map produced in October 1975.

National Flood Insurance Program
NFIP is a government program that was established in 1968 to allow property owners to buy flood insurance.  In order for a community to qualify they have to implement programs to reduce the chance of flooding.

San Mateo Fights Back
In 1981 San Mateo told FEMA that the City wasn’t subject to 1% annual chance of flooding.  Also because FEMA hadn’t established specific criteria to certify levees, they rescinded the map and made the City a non-floodprone zone.  Didn’t mean there wasn’t going to be any flooding…

San Mateo Backpeddals
Sometime prior to July 2000, the City of San Mateo decided it wanted to be in a flood zone and appealed the fact that it was in a non-flood prone zone.  The City website is vague on exactly when they did that but FEMA wanted to keep San Mateo out of the flood program and tried several times to dispute the City’s findings.

FEMA Revises Flood Map
April 18, 2008: FEMA issued a revised preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map.   (FEMA’s official map of a community where they’ve marked both the special hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to that community.)

Initially the map was set to be finalized in Spring of 2010.  Now it’s set for “late” 2011.

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