Most Woodbridge residents may not be required to purchase flood-control insurance after all. But it's not a done deal.
San Joaquin County submitted revised elevation maps to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Monday that county officials hope will remove most of Woodbridge from being designated as a high-risk flood area. The maps submitted by the county's Public Works Department are intended to show that most of Woodbridge isn't as likely to flood during a 100-year storm as FEMA officials thought.
The exception may be the Windwood subdivision, the westernmost neighborhood north of Woodbridge Road. The exact boundaries the county submitted aren't crystal clear.
Deputy Public Works director Steve Winkler, who submitted the elevation information to FEMA, told the Woodbridge Municipal Advisory Council last week that "most areas east of Benedict Drive north of Woodbridge Road may be eligible for consideration as 'high ground.'"
Benedict Drive is the easternmost street in the Windwood subdivision, indicating that all of Windwood would continue to be within the flood plain. But Winkler is on vacation this week and unavailable to clarify what he submitted to FEMA. Several Public Works employees told the News-Sentinel they didn't know about Windwood's proposed status.
Property owners in Woodbridge and northwest Lodi became alarmed in January when FEMA included those areas in a potential 100-year flood-zone region where they would be required to purchase insurance.
In a preliminary map issued in January, property owners generally west of Lodi Lake and Mills Avenue and south to White Oak Way were faced with flood insurance that could cost them more than $2,200 per year.
FEMA still recommends flood insuranceWhether or not Lodi-Woodbridge property owners will be required to purchase flood insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency advises property owners to buy insurance anyway.
If insurance is purchased before FEMA adopts its final map, it will cost $317 for a $250,000 house containing $100,000 worth of contents. The premium will go up to $769 annually once FEMA adopts its map designations in 2009. An optional $482 premium is available to cover contents.
If a property owner in a high-risk flood area purchases insurance after FEMA makes its final determination, premiums will cost $1,390, plus another $856 for the contents annually.
Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency
However, the city of Lodi surveyed the Park West, Bridgetowne and Towne Ranch neighborhoods, and urged FEMA in May to remove those areas from the flood plain.
And this month, San Joaquin County is attempting to get most of Woodbridge off the hook.
It's up to FEMA to determine whether either Lodi or Woodbridge is in or out of the flood plain, and that won't be determined for a few months, FEMA officials say. The new FEMA flood plain maps will take effect in April.
Property owners with homes that are paid in full are exempt from the flood insurance requirement.