Flood Insurance "Not Mandatory" Upon Completion of Levee Upgrades

Foster City’s flood classification will remain as Zone X.

Upon the completion of levee upgrades in San Mateo, Foster City residents will not be mandated to buy flood insurance as previously feared.

"With the completion of the levee improvements in San Mateo and upon certification of the levees by FEMA, Foster City’s flood classification will remain as Zone X (areas protected by levees from 100-year flood; flood insurance is not mandatory)," the city said in a statement.

Due to San Mateo County's deficient levee system, the Federal Emergency Management Agency   That designation would have required local homeowners with a federally-backed mortgage to purchase flood insurance, said Kathy Schaefer, a regional FEMA engineer.

"City of San Mateo completed their levee improvements in December 2011 and submitted documentation to FEMA for certification of the levees.  Based on review of the submitted documentation, FEMA has requested additional documentation before the levees in San Mateo can be certified," the City said in a statement.  "Once the requested documentation is provided, FEMA will proceed with issuing the new DFIRM (Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map). FEMA is anticipating the new DFIRM for San Mateo County to be effective prior to the end of 2012."

Still, flood insurance is recommended for Foster City residents.

"While flood insurance is not mandatory, FEMA does encourage the purchase of flood insurance by homeowners who live behind a levee,” said the City.

The Flood Insurance Rate Map for the City of Foster City can be found at  www.FEMA.gov under map service center.

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