This information is provided for person's owning or residing on property in or near a Special Flood Hazard Area.
History of Flooding in the City of Napa
It is critical to remember that the City of Napa, is subject to flooding from the Napa River and its tributaries. Napa County has experienced eighteen floods since 1940, all resulting in flood damages. The most recent flood event was in 2005/2006. Being prepared is your best defense against such events. Napa is subject to flooding from heavy rains and high tides.
What should you do before a flood?
Determine if your property is located in an area subject to flooding. The following areas have a known potential for flooding:
- Napa River
- Tulocay Creek
- Napa Creek
- Salvador Creek
- Localized Areas
This is not a complete list of areas that are within flood zones, but rather a list of areas with documented flooding problems. A property located within a flood zone does not necessarily have flooding problems. If your neighborhood is not listed, your property may still be within a flood zone, as designated by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps. Upon request, the Public Works Department at (707) 257-9404, will make free flood zone determinations for properties within the City. FEMA maps are also available in Napa County Public Libraries and at FEMA.gov Map Service Center. If located in an “A” Zone, your property is within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), which is an area that has been determined to have the potential for flooding caused by a 100-year storm. The Public Works Department also maintains elevation certificates for many properties within the city which are also available for review.
Purchase flood insurance on your property. Flooding is not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. A separate flood insurance policy is required to cover damages incurred by flooding. Coverage is available for the building itself as well as for the contents of the building. The City of Napa participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that makes available federally backed flood insurance for all structures, whether or not they are located within the floodplain. Note that there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect. Contact your insurance agency for more information. Flood insurance information is also available in Napa County Public Libraries and Floodsmart.gov.
Maintain drainage channels and pipes free of obstruction and debris. The City of Napa performs cleaning and maintenance activities on the drainage channels and pipes in City easements & rights-of-way in accordance with an established schedule and other standard operating procedures. Residents are encouraged to assist in maintaining the drainage in their areas by removing or reporting obstructions (such as shopping carts, leaves, debris, trash, etc.). Keeping drainage channels free of obstructions reduces flooding in the event of heavy rains. By way of City ordinance, it is illegal to dump trash, leaves, landscape debris, paint, grease, or any other material into any portion of the City’s drainage system. Such dumping can have devastating impacts on water quality in addition to causing flooding. To report obstructions or illegal dumping, or for questions regarding drainage system maintenance, please contact Storm Water Maintenance at (707) 257-9600.
Protect your property from the hazards of flooding and wind. Various methods may be used to minimize flooding. If the floor level of your property is lower than the “Base Flood Elevation” (elevation of the 100-year flood, based on the FEMA maps), consider elevating your structure, if possible. Brochures discussing flood proofing and other mitigation measures are available in Napa County Public Libraries. If a flood is imminent, property can be protected by sandbagging areas subject to the entry of water into living spaces. Sandbags and sand are distributed free of charge to City residents and business owners the first Saturday in November, December, January, February, and March. The distribution takes place from 9a.m. to 1p.m. on each of these Saturdays at the City Corporation Yard at 770 Jackson Street. When a flood threat develops, the City provides sandbags free of charge at the front parking lot at Napa High School on Jefferson St. unless school is in session. The alternative location would be the back parking at Westwood School on Freeway Drive. This emergency distribution begins when a flood or flash flood watch is posted by the National Weather Service for the Napa River and/or its tributaries. Follow the link at the bottom of this page to check the current status of watches and warnings. Valuables and furniture may also be moved to higher areas of the dwelling to minimize damages. The City of Napa will make site visits to provide one-on-one advice to a property owner regarding flooding and drainage issues on private property. For more information, please contact the Public Works Department at (707) 257-9520.
Meet improvement requirements. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires that if the cost of reconstruction, additions, or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s market value, then the building must meet the same construction requirements as a new building. Substantially damaged buildings must also be brought up to the same standards. For example, a residence damaged so that the cost of repairs equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s value before it was damaged must be elevated above the base flood elevation. Please contact the Public Works Department at (707) 257-9520 for more information.
Meet permitting requirements. Most development within the city requires a permit. Always check and fulfill permitting requirements with the Building Department at (707) 257-9540 and/or the Engineering Division at (707) 257-9520 before you build on, alter, fill, or re-grade on any portion of your property and/or within any easement or right-of-way. Also, contact either of the numbers above to report any suspected permitting violations.
Keep an emergency supply. Non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights, a manual can opener, and a battery-operated radio should be kept available.
What should you do during a flood?
If your property is in imminent danger of flooding, please contact PG&E at (800) 743-5000 to request that your power and natural gas be shut off, or for guidance on how to do it yourself. This number may also be contacted regarding any other electrical or natural gas emergencies.
Tune-in to local commercial radio or television stations (KVYN – 99.3 FM, KVON – 1440 AM), or NOAA Weather Radio (frequencies 162.475 Sonoma County or 162.55 Sacramento) for Watch and Warning Bulletins and any corresponding emergency instructions. The City of Napa Emergency Operation Center (EOC) will order or advise evacuations if conditions warrant this action. If evacuations are called for, it is imperative that you follow instructions in the time frame noted. The designated flood evacuation routes from different areas of the City are as follows:
Downtown: HWY 29
Napa Creek: HWY 29
Tulocay Creek: HWY 121 to HWY 221
Salvador Creek: HWY 29
Questions regarding emergency procedures may be addressed to the City of Napa EOC at (707) 258-7887. For maps of evacuation routes, please consult: www.cityofnapa.org Click on Emergency Information then Street Closures During Floods for map.
If dangerous flooding conditions are imminent, avoid driving a vehicle if possible. Do not attempt to drive or wade through deep pockets of water or running washes. Unstable banks should be avoided. Develop an evacuation plan for your family.
Avoid low-lying areas. Seek shelter in the highest areas possible.
What should you do after a flood?
Listen to the radio for emergency instructions.
Avoid driving if possible.
Follow established procedures for property damage repairs:
Select a contractor who is licensed in his trade. The City of Napa requires contractors to be licensed and/or registered with City of Napa and to have a City of Napa Business License. They will also be able to produce receipts for their licenses. Only licensed electricians may perform electrical work, only licensed plumbers may perform plumbing work, only licensed mechanical contractors may perform heating, ventilation and air conditioning work, and only licensed building contractors may perform building related work. Verify that contractors are licensed before signing or agreeing to any repair contracts. It is also recommended that you verify certification of liability and workman’s compensation insurance. Complaints against licensed contractors may be referred to the appropriate licensing agency.
Require your contractors to obtain the proper permits for work being performed. Permits are required for any permanent improvement (including roofing, siding, additions, alterations, etc.) to a structure and for site work such as grading, filling, etc. Permits are required even if a homeowner is doing the work himself.
Questions about permits or contractor licensing may be addressed to the City of Napa Building Department at (707) 257-9540.
Recognize the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains to help reduce flooding: Floodplains are a natural component of the City of Napa environment. Understanding and protecting the natural functions of floodplains helps reduce flood damage and protect resources. When flooding spreads out across the floodplain, its energy is dissipated, which results in lower flood flows downstream, reduced erosion of the stream bank and channel, deposition of sediments higher in the watershed and improved groundwater recharge. Floodplains are scenic, valued wildlife habitat, and suitable for farming. Poorly planned development in floodplains can lead to stream bank erosion, loss of valuable property, increased risk of flooding to downstream properties and degradation of water quality.
For more information about flood safety or the NFIP, please note the following:
This information is provided by the City of Napa and is applicable to properties within the limits of the City. If you reside in a jurisdiction other than the City of Napa, contact your regulatory authority for information. If you believe you received this notice in error, or if you no longer own this property, please contact the City of Napa Public Works Department at (707) 257-9520 or via mail at P.O. Box 660, Napa, CA 94559