Posted by Steve, a resident of Menlo Park, on Jul 24, 2010 at 10:09 am
A little history:
The Corps of Engineers, thru FEMA, last issued Flood maps for Palo Alto in 1997 that added 800 more homes in Crescent Park and Green Gables to an area that could be flooded by an overflowing San Francisquito Creek. Residents in newly identified flood zones protested that the maps were too conservative and they shouldn't have to buy flood insurance. The city was prepared to bring suit against the Corps to have the maps redone. But before the suit could proceed the rains came. And guess what? The maps got it right.
To quote from an article in the Weekly at the time:
"One of the homes added was Council member Micki Schneider's. She abstained from the December vote, but last week, her home was one that did sustain water damage from the flood.
"Had I been forced to buy insurance, I'd be covered," Schneider said. As it is, she and her family had no flood insurance. "It seems to me that the Army Corps of Engineers was right. (The maps) are very closely aligned." "
"To survey the extent of the flood, Public Works Director Glenn Roberts drove through the flood-damaged areas of the city with the proposed FEMA map in hand. "What we've seen indicates that FEMA's topographical accuracy looks pretty good."
As he drove down streets where curbs were covered by water, he said "I would look down at the map, and they'd coincide. The technical accuracy question appears to not be a real strong issue." "
To see the full story from 1998 see Web Link and to see all the stories on the 1998 floods see Web Link