Flood Information

Welcome to the  City of Tehama. The following information is provided to help you better understand and reduce your flood risk.

Elevation Certificates

Elevation Certificates are available for many houses in Tehama.  Call the City Clerk at 530-384-1501 to see if an elevation certificate is available for your location. Elevation Certificates Available

History of Flooding in the City of Tehama

It is critical to understand that due to the location of the City of Tehama along the Sacramento Valley, the City has a long history of flooding during high flows. Recent major flooding occurred in 1940, 1970, 1974, 1983, 1986, and 1997. All resulted in flood damages. The most recent flood events were in 1989, 1999, and 2004. We know that being prepared is our best defense. 

What should you do before a flood?

Know your Risk

Flooding can cause problems even after the high water has receded. A flood-damaged building can have structural damage or electrical issues—not to mention hazardous materials that can cause illness for you and your family!

The City of Tehama is located entirely within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The SFHA is the area where the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) floodplain management regulations must be enforced and the area where the mandatory purchase of flood insurance applies.  Some parts of Tehama are subject to flooding from storms less severe than 100-year storms.

All land in the City of Tehama is in an “A” Zone – an official designation that translates to a 1-in-4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. Some areas in Tehama are at even greater risk. Living with these risks is one of the costs of our beautiful riverside location, and planning for it is a strength of our self-reliant community.

Understanding your risk is free.

To receive free flood risk information for properties within the City, contact the City Clerk at (530) 384-1501. The City Clerk also maintains elevation certificates, which are available for review, for many properties within the City. FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are also available for your review in the Tehama County Public Library. Join your neighbors in a community of preparedness.

Purchase Flood Insurance

Imagine just a few inches of floodwater in your home. Carpets and rugs soaked in mud. Cabinets filled with river water. Electronics damaged. Wooden furniture warped and stained. Closets full of sopping wet clothing – your favorite boots ruined. Just a few inches doesn’t sound like much, but even a little flood water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Flooding is not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Flood damage is left to federally backed policies available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). NFIP coverage is available for the building itself, as well as for the contents of the building. The City of Tehama participates in NFIP, which makes available federally backed flood insurance for all structures, whether or not they are located within a floodplain. There is typically a 30-day waiting period before making a claim, so don’t wait until the rainy season arrives.

The NFIP offers one way for you to reduce the physical and financial impacts of flooding on your home or business. Three out of four homes that have been damaged by floods lie within the SFHA designation – a zone which encompasses all of the City of Tehama.

Don’t get caught unprepared: Contact your insurance agency for more information. Flood insurance information is also available at the Tehama County Public Library.


Protect Your Property

Think of the people and things you value most. What steps could you take today to protect those lives and property from a future flood event? That’s called mitigation.

Effective mitigation isn’t always grand and expensive. Efforts vary from person to person and depend on property, flood zone, and many other variables.

  • Keep drainage channels free of obstructions to reduce flooding in the event of rain

The City of Tehama cleans and maintains drainage channels and pipes in City easements and rights-of-way in accordance with an established schedule and standard operating procedures. Residents are encouraged to assist by removing or reporting obstructions such as shopping carts, leaves, debris, trash, etc. Reducing our risk is a community-wide effort.

By way of City ordinance, it is illegal to dump trash, leaves, landscape debris, paint, grease, or any other material into any portion of the City’s drainage system. Dumping can negatively impact water quality and cause flooding.

To report obstructions or illegal dumping, or for questions regarding drainage system maintenance, please contact City Hall at (530) 384-1501.

  • Elevate – Rise above your flood risk

Mitigation reduces your property’s risk to future events and allows you to return home more quickly after a disaster. If the floor level of your property is lower than the potential water level of a flood event, you may consider elevating your structure. Almost 100 people in our community have already raised their houses to reduce their risk.

Until elevation is possible, you can take other practical actions to protect your property. Simple steps like elevating your electrical appliances or using flood-resistant materials, like tile instead of carpet, can still offer financial protection for your property.

  • Defend your property against the storms, flood waters, and wind

If a flood is imminent, more short-term measures can help protect the things you value most. If you know a storm is coming, property may be protected by sandbagging areas where water may enter into living spaces. Valuables and furniture may also be moved to higher areas of the dwelling where the flood water is less likely to reach. Attaching plywood or specially made panels over windows and patio doors may help protect against high wind damages. Knowing your risk and tracking the forecast can help you take immediate actions to reduce flood damage.

To learn more about mitigation measures, visit the Tehama County Library or City Hall for informational brochures. The City of Tehama offers site-specific information for some parcels within the City. Upon request, the City of Tehama will make site visits to provide one-on-one advice to property owners regarding flooding and drainage issues on private property. For more information, please contact the City Clerk at (530) 384-1501.

  • Be informed about requirements for reconstruction, remodels, and retrofits

Knowing about special requirements for reconstruction, remodels, and retrofits is a crucial element of planning for a hazard. The NFIP requires that if the cost of reconstruction, additions, or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50 percent of the building’s market value, then the building must meet the same construction requirements as a new building. For example, a residence damaged to the extent that the cost of repairs equals or exceeds 50 percent of the building’s value before it was damaged must be elevated above the Base (1-percent-annual-chance) Flood Elevation. For more information, please contact the Tehama County Building Department at (530) 527-7002.

  • Meet local permitting requirements

All development within the City requires a permit! Before you alter, fill, re-grade, or build on any portion of your property or within an easement or right-of-way, contact the City at (530) 384-1501 or the County building department at (530) 527-7002 to learn how to fulfill permitting requirements or report suspected permitting violations. 


Plan for an Emergency

  • Register to receive flood warnings

The City of Tehama warns residents by phone when flooding may occur.  Leave a message at City Hall at (530) 384-1501 to sign up for City of Tehama alerts.

  • Maintain an emergency preparedness kit

An emergency preparedness kit includes the basic tools we need to get through the first days of an event. Each kit should include food and water for each member of your family for three days, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight, spare batteries, first aid kit, can opener, local maps, moist towelettes, toilet paper, and garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation. A complete list of recommended items for an emergency kit can be found at Ready.gov.

  • Develop an evacuation plan for your family

Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate. Identify several places you could go in an emergency, such as a friend’s home in another town or a motel. Choose destinations in different directions so that you have options during an emergency. If needed, identify a place to stay that will accept pets. Most public shelters allow only service animals. Be familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area.

What should you do during a flood?

Shut off power and natural gas

If your property is in imminent danger of flooding, request that your power and natural gas be shut off or receive instructions on how to do it yourself by phoning PG&E at (800) 743-5000. In an emergency, call 911.

Listen to Severe Weather Emergency Announcements
Tune in to local commercial radio (KBLF-1490 AM), television stations (KHSL TV), or NOAA Weather for any bulletins or emergency instructions.

Obey evacuation instructions

The Tehama County Emergency Preparedness Division of the Sheriff’s Office will order or advise evacuations, as necessary. Questions regarding emergency procedures may be addressed to the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 529-7900.

Avoid driving or wading through moving water and low-lying areas

If dangerous flooding conditions are imminent, avoid driving a vehicle if possible. Seek shelter in the highest areas possible. Unstable banks should be avoided.


What should you do after a flood?

Listen to the radio for emergency instructions
Tune in to local commercial radio (KBLF-1490 AM), television stations (KHSL TV), or NOAA Weather.

Avoid driving if possibleFollow established procedures for property damage repairs

  1. Select a contractor who is licensed in the trade

The City of Tehama requires contractors to be licensed and/or registered with Tehama County and to have a City of Tehama Business License. Licensed and/or registered contractors will be able to produce receipts for their licenses. Licensed contractors may perform work only for which they are licensed. For example, licensed electricians may perform only electrical work and not plumbing work.

Verify that contractors are licensed before signing or agreeing to any repair contracts. It is also recommended that you verify certification of liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Complaints against licensed contractors may be referred to the appropriate licensing agency.

Direct questions about contractor licensing to the County of Tehama Building Department at (530) 527-7002.

  1. Secure required permits

Require your contractors to obtain the proper permits. Permits are required for any permanent improvement to a structure, including painting, roofing, siding, additions, alterations, etc., and for site work, such as grading, filling, etc. Permits are required even if a homeowner is doing the work themselves.

Direct questions about permits to the County of Tehama Building Department at (530) 527-7002.

  1. Recognize the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains

Floodplains are a natural part of the Tehama County environment. Understanding and protecting the natural functions of floodplains helps reduce flood damage and protect resources. When flooding spreads out across the floodplain, its energy is dissipated, which results in lower flood flows downstream, reduced erosion of the streambank and channel, deposition of sediments higher in the watershed, and improved groundwater recharge. Floodplains are scenic, valued wildlife habitat, and they are suitable for farming. Poorly planned development in floodplains can lead to streambank erosion, loss of valuable property, increased risk of flooding to downstream properties, and degradation of water quality.

Important Flood Links:

FEMA Flood Resources

Flood Risk Communication YouTube Videos

Don't forget!

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Leave a message at City Hall at (530) 384-1501 to sign up for alerts.

This information is provided by the City of Tehama and is applicable to properties within the limits of the City. If you reside in a jurisdiction other than the City of Tehama, contact your regulatory authority for information.


River Levels at Flood Stage from NOAA website