Federal Flood Information

Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) Building Restrictions

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) have been issued for the City of Stockton.  Building restrictions apply in areas designated on these maps as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), identified as Zones A, AO, AH, and AE.

For properties shown within a SFHA, building restrictions may apply to new construction and certain reconstructions and additions.  Such restrictions may include the requirement to elevate new and existing structures above the base flood elevation, including electrical and mechanical service equipment.

SFHA Building Restrictions Flow Chart


Flood Maps

In 2009, FEMA completed a comprehensive update of the FIRMs for San Joaquin County, including all the incorporated cities in the County, under the Map Modernization Program.  The new FIRMs replaced the existing paper maps for our area issued in the early 1980s.  Past flooding disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, resulted in FEMA reevaluating local flood risk and protection requirements.

Electronic copies of the maps are available on the San Joaquin County Public Works Department web site, under “Flood Zone Viewer.”  (See External Links below)  Using this site, property owners can enter the APN or physical address of the property to determine if the property is located in a SFHA. For information from the FIRMs and other flood related information for a particular site, contact the City's Community Development Department, Building and Life Safety Division.

Also, in 2007, the State passed legislation requiring a higher level of flood protection for communities in California’s Central Valley.  Specifically, this requires certain new development projects achieve a 200-year level of flood protection, exceeding the 100-year standard required by FEMA.  (See External Link below.)  These new flood protection requirements are scheduled to startt by July 2016.  Areas subject to these requirements can be viewed on San Joaquin County’s 200-Year Flood Zone viewer. 

Properties within shallow flooding areas, defined as three feet of depth or less, are exempt from the higher flood protection standard.  Contact the Flood Management staff of the Building Division to learn if a particular property and project would be subject to this requirement.


Flood Insurance Requirements

Owners of structures having a federally-backed mortgage on properties identified on FIRMs as being in a SFHA may be required by their mortgage company to carry flood insurance.  

Insurance premiums vary depending on:

  • location and elevation of the lowest floor of the structure
  • amount of coverage sought to include structure only or structure and contents.

All homeowners and renters are strongly encouraged to consider obtaining flood insurance, whether or not they reside in a "Special Flood Hazard Area."  The cost of insuring a home or business and its contents against flooding may be far less expensive than the cost of flood repairs or reconstruction. Please consult with your insurance agent and contact City staff as well.


Flooding: Potentially Costly Disaster

Levees protect much of Stockton from potential flooding.  As a result, flooding is the most likely natural disaster to occur in the City.  Knowing your flood risk zone will help you take the appropriate steps for flood protection.

Flood risk varies by property and property risk can change over time due to several factors.  Although the risk of flooding is greatest in the higher risk flood zones, the potential exists in lower risk flood zones.  Historically, 20 to 25 percent of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program are for flood damages in areas outside of FEMA mapped SFHAs. 


Additional Flood Information

  • For general information about flood zones and flood insurance, contact the City's Community Development Department, Building and Life Safety Division or the National Flood Insurance Program. (See External Links below.)
  • To find a local agent, contact the National Flood Insurance Program or check the internet.
  • To view or purchase flood hazard maps for a nominal fee, contact FEMA Map Service Center. (See “External Links” below.)
  • Information brochures about protecting yourself and property from flood related hazards are available on the San Joaquin County Public Works Department website.  (See "External Links" below.)
  • For information about the State of California, urban level of of flood protection and 200-year flood protection, please visit State Flood Information on this website.



External Links

California Department of Water Resources

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or call 1-800-611-6122

FEMA Map Service Center or call 1-877-336-2627; locate a agent or purchase flood hazard maps

National Flood Insurance Program or call 1-888-379-9531

San Joaquin County Public Works Department, Flood Protection - Frequent Asked Questions (FAQs)

San Joaquin County Public Works Department, Flood Protection - Info

San Joaquin County Flood Zone Viewer  

San Joaquin County 200-Year Flood Zone Viewer


This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 11/15/2016