FEMA Flood Zone Information

In 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency finalized a Flood Insurance Study and Flood Insurance Rate Map that placed certain neighborhoods in San Mateo into a Special Flood Hazard Area.

On October 16, 2012, the City experienced a flood map update called a Physical Map Revision (PMR). This map change is a result of the completion of the Levee Project - a flood protection improvement project that resulted in approximately 8,000 homes being removed from the FEMA "high risk" flood zone.

On July 16, 2015 FEMA released a new map to include residual creek flooding. This is the first map revision to the map in San Mateo that considers creek overflows in the event of a 100 year storm. Scientific modeling suggests that portions of Laurel Creek would experience water ponding. Also, this data was able to confirm that many properties along Hillsdale Blvd., west of El Camino have been removed from the flood zone. This is due to new and more precise topographic data that has become available. Based on new information from a study performed by an consultant in 2016, the Public Works Department submitted an application for a Letter of Map Change (LOMC) to remove this area from the high-risk flood zone on September 19, 2016. If FEMA does not require any additional information, they will respond to the application within 90 days (12/20/2016).

In this section of our website you can learn more about the history of the Flood Zone in San Mateo, receive answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and access resources that will help you better understand your flood status.

Remaining in "High Risk" Area?

North Shoreview and Parts of North Central. View the November 2016 North Central and North Shoreview Flood Zones Newsletter for an update on the flood control infrastructure projects and learn a little about the process of forming an Assessment District. Staff began working with a consultant to survey these neighborhoods to gauge support of an Assessment District in 2017. View the June, 2014 North Shoreview or North Central presentations to understand the history of past projects and what still needs to be accomplished to pull these two neighborhoods out of the "high risk" zone. Read the 2012 newsletter that shares our future goals for increasing flood protection for properties north of San Mateo Creek, and tips for lowering your premium.

Going from “High Risk” to “Low Risk” Zone?

Hillsdale Blvd west of El Camino Real
This area was notified via mail in April 2014 that FEMA has changed the flood designation from high risk to low risk. These properties are no longer required to purchase flood insurance.

Entering "High Risk" Area for First Time?

1.) Small Pocket in San Mateo Village 2.) Small Area 20th to 25th & Railroad to Palm
As part of the City’s efforts to update its flood zone maps, the City was required to perform a study of properties that may be susceptible to creek flooding in a 100 year storm. From this recent study, we learned that we have approximately 250 properties in two small areas of our City that are susceptible to creek flooding. View the Map of Impacted Areas, Letter Sent to Impacted Property Owners (Aug 2012), Update Sent to Impacted Property Owners (March 2013), and Packet Sent to Property Owners (April 2015).
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More Information

For questions related to this information or any FEMA related topic, please contact the San Mateo Public Works Department at (650) 522-7300.