Updated federal maps effective Dec. 20 show an increased chance of flooding for about 1,250 coastal properties in Oceanside, a city engineer said this week.
The maps released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency show a greater threat than previously for low-lying properties that are mostly west of Coast Highway in areas such as The Strand in northern Oceanside and St. Malo Beach, a gated community with homes built in the 1920s near the Carlsbad border.
"It's been a long time coming," City Engineer Brian Thomas said recently in a presentation to the Oceanside Planning Commission.
The revised maps are based on years of researching weather patterns, erosion, land development and other factors, according to the federal agency. The studies included the first detailed analysis of the Pacific Coast in more than 30 years.
The update will bring higher insurance costs to some property owners in the affected areas.
Anyone who already has flood insurance will be grandfathered in at their existing rates, Thomas said. However, anyone who buys new insurance after Dec. 20 will pay significantly higher rates in areas shown to have increased risks.
City officials mailed letters to all affected property owners in November to make them aware of the changes, Thomas said.
Other areas of the city such as low-lying property along Loma Alta Creek and in the San Luis Rey River valley also are in federal flood zones but were not affected by the update.
The FEMA maps have multiple purposes, including regulating new development. More information about the maps and the areas affected is on the city web site at www.ci.oceanside.ca.us.
Flood insurance is required for federally backed mortgages on properties within the FEMA flood zones. In most cases those loans are backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC.
The average cost of a flood insurance policy in California is $795 a year, according to the online insurance site ValuePenguin.com.
The city of San Diego has 3,233 flood insurance policies in effect and the average cost per policy is $982 per year, according to the company's website.
(c)2019 The San Diego Union-Tribune
Visit The San Diego Union-Tribune at www.sandiegouniontribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.