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FEMA updates flood maps in Monterey County

Salinas, Chualar, Soledad and Gonzales among area revisions

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created preliminary flood maps for parts of Monterey County, including the Salinas Valley. (Map Courtesy of FEMA)

SALINAS VALLEY — Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has delivered preliminary flood maps for parts of Monterey County, including the Salinas Valley. 

The maps identify revised flood hazards along the Salinas River, Gonzales Slough, Natividad Creek and unnamed tributaries. These new maps will help building officials, floodplain administrators, developers and homeowners make effective mitigation decisions, thereby contributing to safer and more disaster resilient communities.

Before the new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) become effective, there is a 90-day appeal period from May 12 to Aug. 10. During that time, public agencies, residents or businesses with supporting technical and scientific information, such as detailed hydraulic or hydrologic data, can appeal the flood risk information on the preliminary maps, which can be viewed at

Flood hazards are dynamic and change frequently for many reasons, including weather patterns, erosion and community development. 

Officials from FEMA, Monterey County and the communities of Salinas, Soledad, Chualar and Gonzales worked together to provide updated information that accurately reflects the flood risk. These changes may also affect future building standards or insurance requirements.

The local mapping project is part of a national effort led by FEMA to increase local knowledge of flood risks and support actions to address and reduce the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. 

FEMA encourages residents to review the preliminary flood maps to learn about local flood risks, potential future flood insurance requirements and identify any concerns or questions about the information provided.

Risk of flooding affects almost every corner of the nation. In total, 98% of counties have experienced a flood event, which makes floods the most common and widespread of all weather-related natural disasters.

For more information, contact Monterey County at 831-755-5154 or

Other community information is available for the cities of Salinas at 831-758-7194 or, Soledad at 831-223-5000 or, and Gonzales at 831-675-5000 or