Flood Protection and Planning

Fresno County is a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), with a current Community Rating System (CRS) score of seven.  This rating provides Fresno County residents residing within and near Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) a discount on their annual flood insurance premiums.


 The following GIS links show the locations of the SFHA, which are based off the most current FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM).

Fresno County GIS


El Niño

Fresno County has suffered years of drought and severe wildfires.  Heavy rains typically associated with El Niño increase your chance of flooding.  For more information on El Niño , visit the following links:

National Flood Insurance Program

NOAA El Nino Theme Page

Flood Management Services

Map Services

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Flood Insurance, Rate Maps (FIRMs) are used to determine if properties are located within Special Flood Hazard Areas.  The County provides map determination services upon request from residents, realtors, lenders, and insurance agents.  Copies of FIRMs and other flood awareness publications are available for review and reference at the County Library, 2420 Mariposa Street, Fresno, CA 93721, and at the Fresno County Public Works and Planning Department offices, 2220 Tulare Street, Suite B (Courtyard Level),  Fresno, CA 93721.

They are also available online at the FEMA Map Service Center.

Federal Priorities Streamgages (FPS)

FPS are monitoring stations that track the amount of water in streams and rivers across the Nation and that address one or more of the following Federal information needs:

  • forecasting floods, droughts and other streamflow;
  • supporting water-quality assessments of major rivers and estuaries;
  • supporting interstate and international compacts, court decrees, treaties and other border water agreements;
  • tracking streamflow in major rivers and contributions from key basins to the next downstream basin, estuary, ocean or the Great Lakes; and
  • describing long-term trends in streamflow at sentinel sites that typify major ecoregions and river basins, including trends related to population, land use, water use and climate.

See map links below for currently active FPS stations within Fresno County as of July 2020.


  1. San Joaquin River near Mendota

    Network: Forecast

  2. San Joaquin River near Friant

    Network: Forecast

  3. Big Creek near Huntington Lake

    Network: Forecast

  4. South Fork of San Joaquin River near Florence Lake

    Network: Forecast

  5. North Fork of Kings River near Cliff Camp

    Network: Forecast

  6. Los Gatos Creek near Coalinga

    Network: Sentinel


Elevation Certificates

The Fresno County Department of Public Works and Planning also, copies of available FEMA Elevation Certificates for structures and substantial improvements constructed in Special Flood Hazard Areas. Below is a link to the most current records of Elevation Certificates on file.  Copies of finished construction Elevation Certificates can be provided upon request.

Elevation Certificate Log (XLS, 634KB)


Onsite inspections are available for owners who wish to determine areas that can be improved to reduce flood damage please contact the Fresno County Department of Public Works and Planning Development Services Section at (559) 600-4022, Inspection fees may apply.

Flood Preparedness

How to Obtain Sandbags for Flood Prevention

Emergency Preparedness and Response

FEMA FloodSmart Resources

Important Flood Protection Information for Residents(PDF, 37KB)

Flood Preparation and Safety(PDF, 356KB)

Ready.gov Flood Information

Fresno County Flood Protection Information(PDF, 60KB)

Disaster Response Steps(PDF, 185KB)

So You Live Behind a Levee(PDF, 2MB)

Turn Around, Don't Drown(PDF, 6MB)

Construction within Special Flood Hazard Areas

The County's first Flood Insurance Rate Map Effective Date was December 1, 1982.  If a structure was built prior to this date and is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, the structure may not be elevated to current standards.  This may result in an increased flood insurance premium. 

Fresno County Flood Hazard Ordinance

Elevation Certificate(PDF, 5MB)

Floodproofing Certificate (Non-residential)

A Guide for Consumers(PDF, 2MB)

Building in a Special Flood Hazard Area(PDF, 35KB)

FEMA 259 - Engineering Principles and Practices for Retrofitting Flood-Prone Residential Structures(PDF, 56MB)

FEMA 312 - Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting(PDF, 52MB)

Flood Insurance

Most homeowners insurance does not cover flooding losses. Only flood insurance covers damage from rising waters.  Because Fresno County is a participant in the NFIP, residents receive a discount on their annual insurance premium. ACT NOW!  It may take up to 30 days for flood insurance to be effective! 

Why You Need Flood Insurance(PDF, 7MB)

Answers to Tough Questions about the NFIP(PDF, 325KB)

Understanding Your Flood Insurance Policy(PDF, 117KB)

NFIP Grandfathering Rules for Agents(PDF, 491KB)

Repetitive Loss(PDF, 9MB)

(PDF, 9MB)Top Ten Things to Know About Flood Insurance(PDF, 45KB)


Floodplains have an essential role in flood protection.  Floodplains provide room for floodwaters, reducing pressure on dams and levees.  It is critical that floodplains remain free of debris or hazardous waste to reduce the risk of injury in the event of a flood.

Report Illegal Dumping

Protecting Floodplain Resources(PDF, 45MB)

Sensitive Status Species(PDF, 29KB)

Floodplain Functions and Societal Values(PDF, 351KB)

San Joaquin River Parkway

Protecting Natural Functions Regulations


Fresno County Department of Public Works and Planning, Development Engineering Section

Phone: (559) 600-4022
Operating Hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday

2220 Tulare Street, Suite B (Courtyard Level)
Fresno, CA 93721


Services Provided:
  • Map Services - Flood zone determination for properties within unincorporated county
  • Building Restriction information and plan review
  • Elevation Certificate repository
  • Basic flood insurance information
  • Assistance with LOMC applications
  • Site inspections to determine areas that can be improved to reduce flood damage

FEMA Map Service Center

Phone: 1-877-336-2627
Operating Hours: 5:00am - 3:30pm, PST, Monday - Friday
Website: www.msc.fema.gov


Services Provided: 
  • Assistance navigating the FEMA Flood Map Store and creating FIRMettes
  • Placing orders (e.g., flood maps, FIS reports, LOMC subscription CDs, NFIP manuals, etc.
  • Checking order status
  • Providing price quotes on products
  • Basic mapping information research (e.g., map panel, map effective dates, community number)

Technical Response Center (FEMA National Flood Insurance Program Call Center)



Operating Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Services Provided: 
  • Help answer general questions for future policy holders and specific questions for policy holders and agents
  • Provides assistance to agents and policy holders with filing claims

FEMA Disaster Assistance


1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) 

Operating Hours:      

7:00am - 3:00pm, EST, Monday - Friday
12:00pm - 8:00pm, EST, Saturday & Sunday


Services Provided: 
  • Helps victims of disasters with obtaining information and filing claims