Flood Zone Descriptions: Zone ACr
Palo Alto is traversed by several creeks. Obviously, these creeks carry rainfall runoff and so, by definition, are flooded after virtually any significant rainfall. The channels, then, are definitely Special Flood Hazard Areas. Where a 100-year flow in the channel would not overflow the banks, FEMA notes this on the flood maps as "ZONE A CONTAINED IN CHANNEL". Even if your land actually extends into the creek channel, you are not affected by the construction and insurance requirements unless your structure actually lies at least partly within the creek channel. Still, if your property does extend into a creek, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to convince a lender that you don't have to have flood insurance. And, if you're that close to a creek, it might not be a bad idea to carry flood insurance in any case.
Last Updated: May 31, 2007