Flood Information

Welcome to the  City of Tehama.  Life here is enhanced by the preservation of our local history and the enjoyment of today.  Our community combines agriculture, industry, history, civic activities, recreation and countless other events for a wholesome and fulfilled lifestyle, making it an ideal place to raise a family and grow your business.

The following information should help ease the transition of moving into the area for new residents.


 Flood Information

History of Flooding in the City of Tehama. It is critical to understand that due to the location of the City of Tehama along the Sacramento Valley, the City has a long history of flooding during high flows. Recent major flooding occurred in 1940, 1970, 1974, 1983, 1986, and 1997. All resulted in flood damages. The most recent flood events were in 1989, 1999, and 2004. Being prepared is your best defense against such events.

What should you do before a flood?

The entire City of Tehama is located in either a floodway or floodplain and is subject to flooding. However, a property located within a flood zone, as designated by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps, does not necessarily have flooding problems. Upon request, the City Clerk will provide free flood level information for properties within the City (contact the City Clerk at (530) 384-1501). FEMA maps are also available in the Tehama County Public Library. The entire City of Tehama is located in an “A” Zone, meaning all property within the City of Tehama 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” action. Some parts of Tehama are subject to flooding from storms less severe than 100-year storms. The City Clerk also maintains elevation certificates, which are available for review, for many properties within the City.
◾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 Tehama 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 a floodplain. Note that there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect. More than 25 percent of NFIP claims are filed by properties located outside the 100-year floodplain, also known as the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Contact your insurance agency for more information. Flood insurance information is also available in the Tehama County Public Library.

◾Maintain drainage channels and pipes free of obstruction and debris.The City of Tehama performs cleaning and maintenance activities on the drainage channels and pipes in City easements and 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 City Hall at (530) 384-1501.

◾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 the Tehama County Public Library and at City Hall. If a flood is imminent, property can be protected by sandbagging areas subject to the entry of water into living spaces. Valuables and furniture may also be moved to higher areas of the dwelling to minimize damages. Attaching plywood or specially made panels over windows and patio doors may help protect against high wind damages. Upon request, the City of Tehama will make site visits to provide one-on-one advice to a property owner regarding flooding and drainage issues on private property. We also have site-specific information for some parcels within the City of Tehama. For more information, please contact the City Clerk at (530) 384-1501.

◾There are resources available to homeowners who want to retrofit their homes. Please follow the link below to find out more information: http://www.fema.gov/rebuild/mat/fema312.shtm

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 new building standards. For example, a residence damaged to the extent 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 Tehama County Building Department at (530) 527-7002 for more information.
◾Meet permitting requirements.All development within the City requires a permit. Always check and fulfill permitting requirements with the City at (530) 384-1501 or County building department at (530) 527-7002 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 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 KBLF-1490 AM, KHSL TV or NOAA Weather for Watch and Warning Bulletins and any corresponding emergency instructions. The Tehama County Emergency Preparedness Division of the Sheriff’s Office 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.
◾Questions regarding emergency procedures may be addressed to the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 529-7900.
◾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 Tehama requires contractors to be licensed and/or registered with Tehama County and to have a City of Tehama Business License. Licensed and/or registered contractors will be able to produce receipts for their licenses. Only licensed electricians may perform electrical work, only licensed plumbers may perform plumbing work, only licensed gas contractors may work on a gas system, 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 workers’ 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 painting, 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 County of Tehama Building Department at (530) 527-7002.

Recognize the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains to help reduce flooding:Floodplains are a natural component of the Tehama County 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 streambank 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 streambank erosion, loss of valuable property, increased risk of flooding to downstream properties, and degradation of water quality.

City of Tehama Flood Warning System

The City of Tehama has implemented a telephone notification system to warn residents by phone when flooding may occur. If you have a cell phone on which you would like to receive notifications, please call 384-1501 or leave a message at City Hall.

Special Flood Hazard Areas

An area with a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year comes under this designation and property in these areas may be subject to special requirements. All of the City of Tehama is in a Flood Hazard Area. You can learn more through the insurance links on our Flood Information page, or call (916) 384-1501 for assistance from the city.

Important Flood Links:

Sacramento River Levels (NOAA)

  • Scroll to midpage to "Flood Impacts and Photos" section to see a guide to the flooding impacts in the City of Tehama at different river levels.

FEMA FloodSmart for Flood Insurance Information

10 Ways to Be Prepared (Cal OES)            10 Maneras de Estar Preparados

FEMA How to Stay Safe Before, During and After a Flood

Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House

Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards

ready.gov/floods for additional flood links

This information is provided by the City of Tehama and is applicable to properties within the limits of the City. If you reside in a jurisdiction other than the City of Tehama, contact your regulatory authority for information.


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