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Dam Indundation


AREAS OF POTENTIAL FLOODING - DAM INUNDATION

A Brief Explanation

CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT CODE, Section 8589.4

California law requires the seller (if acting without an agent) or the seller's agent to disclose to a prospective transferee of real property if the property is located within an area of potential flooding as shown on an inundation map prepared by the local organization, utility or owner of the dam and approved by the California Office of Emergency Services ("OES"). Disclosure must be made if:

  • a seller (if acting without an agent) or the seller's agent has "actual knowledge" that the property is located within an area of potential flooding or inundation, OR

  • the local jurisdiction has compiled a list of properties (identified by parcel) that are within an area of potential flooding or inundation and a notice has been posted at the offices of the county recorder, county assessor, and county planning agency that identifies the location of the parcel list.

BACKGROUND:

Pursuant to Government Code Section 8589.4, which is commonly referred to as the Potential Flooding - Dam Inundation Act (the "PFDI Act"), inundation maps must be prepared, delivered and approved by the OES. These maps show areas of potential flooding in the event of sudden or total failure of any dam, the failure of which would result in death or personal injury.

The PFDI Act requires the local governmental organization, utility, or owner of a designated dam to submit:

  • one map which delineates potential flood zones that could result in the event of dam failure when the reservoir is at full capacity, OR

  • three maps which delineate potential flood zones that could result in the event of dam failure when the reservoir is at full capacity, at median-storage level, and at normally low-storage level.

The OES is required to review and approve maps that have been prepared and submitted to ensure that the maps meet all requirements before providing approved copies to appropriate public safety agencies of any local jurisdiction likely to be affected so that emergency procedures can be adopted for the evacuation and control of populated areas.

Please Note:
  • OES has yet to review and submit approved maps for numerous dams to local authorities. As such, this PDR may not reference all dams within the area of potential flooding for the subject property.

  • Dam inundation maps depict a best estimate of water flow in the event of dam failure. Projected water flow is based on a scenario in which a full reservoir completely empties itself and does not account for run-off from other sources. Created in the 1970's, these maps do not employ newer assumptions and map-making methods.

  • Dam inundation maps do not identify areas of potential flooding resulting from storms and other causes.

  • A parcel of property located outside of an area of potential flooding may still be subject to severe flooding.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

For more information, please contact the Office of Emergency Services (OES) at their Sacramento office or contact them via the world wide web at http://www.oes.ca.gov/.



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