Flood Map FAQs

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What are flood maps?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is responsible for flood hazard mapping as part of the National Flood Insurance Program. Mortgage lenders use the FEMA flood hazard maps to determine if flood insurance is necessary.  Federal law requires flood insurance for federally backed loans for properties within the designated severe flood hazard zones. See FLood Zone Map Definitions.

Why are the flood maps an issue?

FEMA is in the process of updating the flood maps for Newport Beach and the proposed changes place thousands of Newport Beach properties in designated flood hazard zones. As proposed, local property owners that do not currently pay for flood insurance could find themselves paying up to $3,000 or more a year for flood insurance.

Does the City agree with the proposed changes?

No. While City engineers understand why FEMA used the methodology it used to draft the new maps, our staff found that the broad-based, federal model did not take into account certain local conditions. The City immediately retained a consultant to further analyze FEMA’s assumptions and to propose changes based on local characteristics such as variations in sea wall heights that were not included in the federal model. The City strongly believes that the additional data could change the flood hazard zones as currently proposed by FEMA. While some local properties would still be in the flood hazard zone, the City’s proposal removes a number of properties from this zone.

What can we do about this? 

Federal law allows property owners to appeal the proposed maps directly to the City of Newport Beach before they are finalized and published. The City is taking the lead in filing the appeal, but all concerned private property owners are encouraged to file their concerns with the City. We strongly believe that our collective voice will go further.

Interested property owners should download the form, sign and submit it back to the City no later than August 28, 2017.

You can email your signed form to Tonee Thai, tthai@newportbeachca.gov, or mail your completed form to City of Newport Beach, Building Division, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA  92660

How can I confirm if my property is affected and get more information?

You can view the FEMA proposed flood hazard maps on the City's website where we have stored the maps and a lot of technical information. You can also call our Community Development Department at 949-644-3200 and a staff member will answer your questions, or help to find the answers.

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