REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KGO) --These El Nino-driven storms underscore the potential for flooding in Redwood City. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is worried about flooding from the downtown area to the bay. FEMA wants property owners to buy flood insurance, but some folks aren't happy with this idea.
The coastal areas of the entire Bay Area are being updated for flood hazards. Proposed changes in Redwood City will impact 1,100 parcels and 900 homeowners not in flood zones before.
The areas in the proposed flood zone change include downtown Redwood City, including the San Mateo County government complex and the CHP's Redwood City office.
A nearby historic residential area is also affected. Some homes are over a century old. FEMA has been updating flood zones for the entire nine-county Bay Area.
"When you're buying a property now, that's going to come up on the disclosure statement that you're in a potential flood zone, which opens up a whole other can of worms with getting insurance, and it's going to be required insurance," David Moreci from Signature Realty said.
The proposed changes won't be finalized until next year. Depending whether a property is deemed low, moderate or high risk, it could mean property owners will be required to take out flood insurance.
Online interactive maps allow you to drill down to a specific address to learn if you're in the proposed flood change zone.
You do have to look at the maps carefully. For example, the homes on one side of Spring Street are in the proposed flood zone change, but right across the street, those homes of Spring Street are not.
FEMA says a typical premium for flood insurance is about $850.
"If you buy your coverage before the map takes effect, you will get a preferred rate. That preferred rate will continue on for one annual period. In year two, things start to change a little bit, and there's an increase in premium," Allstate Insurance Agency owner Michael Glazer said.
FEMA and Redwood City will host a public meeting about the maps a week from Saturday.
To check if an individual's property is in the flood zone, click here, type in the address, click Layers/Legend in the left sidebar, expand the Hazards section and select 2017 Preliminary Flood Zone (tentative).
FEMA Flooding Maps
FEMA Flood Zones