Community Development

Flood Hazards

Some properties are more prone to flood hazards than others. It is highly recommended that you find out whether your home is located in a flood hazard area From there, you can take certain measures to ensure the safety of your family and your property. 

We urge residents who live on or own property in flood hazard areas to purchase flood insurance to protect themselves from losses due to flooding. This insurance is required in certain instances, such as financing a home with a federally backed mortgage.

Standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover losses due to floods. However, Long Beach is a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program, which makes it possible for Long Beach property owners to obtain federally-backed flood insurance. This insurance is available to any owner of insurable property (a building or its contents) within the City of Long Beach. Tenants may also insure their personal property against flood loss. We recommend contacting your local insurance agent for current insurance rates. The actual cost will vary depending upon the amount of coverage and degree of flood hazard.

Learn more about flood insurance.

Below are some precautionary measures we recommend for residents who live in flood hazard areas:

  • Know the flood warning procedures.
  • Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream where water is above your knees.
  • Keep children away from flood waters such as rivers, ditches, culverts, and storm drains.
  • If your vehicle stalls in high water, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • Evacuate the flood hazard area in times of impending flood or when advised to do so by the Police or Fire Department.
  • Turn off all electric circuits at the fuse panel or disconnect switch. If this is not possible, turn off or disconnect all electrical appliances. Shut off the water service and gas valves in your home.

There are various actions you can take to flood-proof your building. Electrical panel boxes, furnaces, water heaters, and washers/dryers should be elevated or relocated to a location less likely to be flooded. Basement floor drains and interior and exterior backwater valves can be installed and interior floodwalls can be placed around utilities.

If flooding is likely, it is suggested that you move essential items and furniture to the upper floors of your home. Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber handy for emergency waterproofing. This will help minimize the amount of damage caused by floodwaters. You can find out where to obtain emergency sandbags from the Long Beach Fire Department.

References on flood-proofing or retrofitting are available at the Long Beach Main Library, located at 101 Pacific Ave. You can reach them at (562) 570-7500.

For assistance on acquiring a flood-proofing permit, contact the Long Beach Development Services Bureau at (562) 570-6651.

For more information on how to protect your home against flooding, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website.

Always check with the Long Beach Development Services Bureau before you build onto, alter, re-grade, or fill in on your property. A permit is needed to ensure that projects do not cause problems on neighboring properties.

If you see a building or land being filled without a permit posted, please contact the Long Beach Development Services Bureau.

ong Beach has a complex storm drainage system, which is composed of streets and gutters, catch basins and underground pipes, ditches, streams and creeks, pump stations, and channels. This system is utilized to carry storm waters away from homes and businesses to designated drainage areas, such as the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers.

Maintenance of this drainage system is very important so that a high flood flow capacity may be realized. For this reason, the City of Long Beach performs maintenance work on the system at least two times a year. Work is also performed on an emergency basis as needed.

A plugged drainage system cannot carry water and could cause flooding when it rains. Do not dump or throw anything into the street or storm drainage system. Dumping in our streets or drainage system is in violation of Los Angeles County Ordinance 20.94.040 and Long Beach Municipal Code Section 8.60.

If you see dumping or debris in the storm drainage system, contact the Los Angeles County Public Works Department's 24-Hour Storm Drain Hotline at (800) 303-0003.

Long Beach has developed a Multi-Hazard Functional Plan (MHFP) to prepare for a variety of disasters, including flooding. The flood warning system in the MHFP is intended to provide at least a one-hour advanced warning of a flood hazard.

Flood watches (when conditions are probable for flooding) and flood warnings (when flooding is imminent) will be issued to the public by one or all of the following means:

  • Local Cable Network
  • TV (Emergency Broadcast System)
  • Radio (Emergency Broadcast System)
  • Mobile public address via Police cars and helicopters
  • Notifications by telephone for critical facilities

The flood map shows the 100-year floodplain as it appears on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) adopted Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), which is now in effect.

Properties that are not currently shown in a floodplain may be included in the future as FEMA revises the FIRMs. To find out if your property is currently in a special flood hazard area, you may view the FEMA Flood Map Service Center or visit the Long Beach Public Works Technical Records Office on the 10th floor of City Hall. For more information, call Technical Records at (562) 570-6784.