By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Alternatives to average $116 year assessment could range from $30K in damages to total loss
flood 1997
Workers remove eggs from flooded buildings during the 1997 flood that is an area now being developed with homes in southwest Manteca that would be protected from a 200-year flood under a proposed 30-year assessment.

An inch of floodwater in your house will cost you at least $10,819 in damages.

And that’s assuming your house is just 1,000 square feet or roughly a third of the size of most homes in parts of Lathrop, Manteca, and the Weston Ranch area of Stockton that the San Joaquin Area Flood Control Agency (SJAFCA) is seeking to protect with $473 million in levee improvements.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates for a 1,000 square foot house shows damages would likely hit $21,161 with 6 inches of flood water, $29,360 with a  foot, $36,360 with two feet, $39,831 with three feet, and $43,400 with four feet.

The loss caused by an inch of flood water for a typical home based on the cost per 1,000 square feet in a flood area should levees fail would be roughly $30,000.

If the current mail in assessment election involving 22,500 property owners fails, those with federally backed mortgages are expected to be required to buy flood insurance based on pending federal rule changes.

Everyone else doesn’t face such a mandate.

But there’s a rub.

Standard homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover flood damage as the California Department of Insurance points out.

You could buy flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program that is costing roughly $1,700 in impacted areas in San Joaquin County.

That insurance has a $1,000 deductible but you can opt for a $10,000 deductible.

The higher deductible translates into a 40 percent premium discount but it leaves you exposed to paying another $9,000 out of pocket for damages.

And then there’s the issue of payout caps for losses.

The NFIP maximum for residential structure payouts for a family of one to four is $250,000 in building coverage and $100,000 in content coverage.

At the same time, costs are increasing 18 percent a year and settling flkood insurance claims means a notoriously slow payment process.

That basically reflects options 22,000 homeowners have to protect themselves against future  losses if the SCAFCA election fails.

The third option, of course, is to roll the dice and have no increased flood protection and not to add flood insurance coverage.

Assessments, that are for 30 years, are weighted based on flood risk with more exposure paying more on an annual basis.

The assessments spread across roughly 22,500 parcels would raise $2.6 million the first year.

Each $1 in assessment is one vote.

Of the parcels being assessed, 94 percent will pay less than $150 a year including 5,998 property owners whose annual assessments will be less than $25.

The average assessment is $116 per year.

The assessments would go to cover a gap in funding the local share of $110.3 million that includes $70.9 million in development impact fees.

The assessments will allow SJAFCA to leverage 67.7 percent of the cost of the $473 million project from federal and state sources.  

 If the assessments are not approved, it will effectively stop all building — new development to even adding on a room or a garage — in the area in the floodplain unless what is built is elevated out of the flood zone which adds significantly to building costs.

Given the cost of the overall project that includes raising levees, developing seepage berms, cutoff walls, erosion protection and the extension of the dryland levee to the south of Manteca, the project cannot move forward without federal and state help.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email