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Roseville ranks No. 1 U.S. for flood protection

By: Brody Fernandez Of Gold Country Media
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Earlier this year, then Roseville City Manager Rob Jensen mentioned FEMA’s top rating for Roseville in terms of flood protection. Months later, with one of the first winter storms hitting the area, city officials told Gold Country Media that nothing has changed as Roseville continues to be the top city in the nation when it comes to flood mitigation.

In 2006, Roseville became the first city in the country to earn the highest rating (Class 1) as part of  the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Community Rating System, according to city of Roseville Public Works spokeswoman Helen Dyda.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency evaluates a community’s efforts in public information, mapping and regulations, flood damage reduction, warning and response, according to Dyada. Since 2006, Roseville has remained the only community in the nation to hold the top rating.

“Since the historic flooding in February 1986 when 209 buildings were flooded and January 1995 when 358 structures were flooded, $32 million has been invested to reduce Roseville’s flood risk,” Dyda said. “Sixteen-million dollars was paid for by the city of Roseville while nearly $14 million came from FEMA grant funding. These investments included flood mitigation projects like stream channel improvements, flood walls, storm water bypass tunnels, and physically elevating flood-prone homes.”

Dyda highlighted the steps that the city took after the devastating floods. “Between 1983 and 1986, the city established development standards that prohibited development in areas with a 1-percent annual chance of flooding, also known as a 100-year floodplain,” Dyda said. “These improvements have earned Roseville’s seat as the top flood protection leader in the country through FEMA's Community Rating System. This means that Roseville property owners receive up to a 45-percent discount on flood insurance. You can view real-time stream levels, historic flood information and learn more about flood protection by visiting roseville.ca.us/floodplain.”  

Dyda said Roseville plans to maintain the exceptional rating.

“Because flood hazards remain the nation’s most costly type of natural disaster, Roseville values being flood resilient,” Hyda said. “The city is committed to wisely investing to ensure residents and businesses have a low flood risk. Roseville continues to actively manage manmade and natural drainage systems to minimize flooding.”

Only a small portion of Roseville is within a floodplain, according to Dyda.

“While there are seven creeks traveling throughout the city, only about seven percent of Roseville is within a floodplain,” Dyda said, “most of which is open space. The remaining areas are high and dry. Roseville does not receive storm water runoff from Sierra snow melt. The highest point in Roseville’s watershed is in Newcastle.”