Key Facts About California Floods
Every county in the State has had at least one federally declared flood disaster in the past 20 years. It is vital for the public to understand that flood risk is real.
Even though flooding can happen at any time of the year, California is flood season officially starts October 15. After an extended period of drought-like conditions, flooding is more likely to occur because the ground cannot easily absorb rainwater. Residents are subject to riverine and coastal flooding as well as alluvial fan, tsunami, deep floodplain, and debris flow flooding.
In recent years, the State has had increased wildfire activity. Normally, vegetation absorbs rainfall, reducing runoff. However, wildfires leave the ground charred, barren, and unable to absorb water, creating conditions ripe for flash flooding and mudflow. FloodSmart, the marketing and education campaign of the National Flood Insurance Program, offers the Flood Risk Scenario tool to help show your clients how they might be at risk for flooding.
Not every part of California experiences every type of flooding, but virtually every property faces some risk. Statewide, about 1.4 million people live and work in high-risk flood areas. But theyre not the only ones at risk for flooding: Nationwide, more than 20 percent of all National Flood Insurance Program flood claims are for properties located outside of mapped high-risk flood areas.