Update: DWR says its searchable maps were created using the best data available as of December 2008, including topographical information from the USGS. That topo data, however, isn’t accurate enough to identify specific flood depths in certain areas. DWR says it plans to update the maps using more accurate LiDAR data.
Went to the mailbox yesterday and found my annual flood-risk notification from the state Department of Water Resources (e-version here). Thousands of other Stockton residents should have received the same notices, as required by law.
The fliers suggest that residents log on to a DWR website and punch in their address to get specific info on the risk in their own neighborhoods.
If you’re wondering how deep the water will be, however, you may not get what you want.
Large portions of Stockton — including much of the central and east sides of the city, and even Lincoln Village West – are described only as “depth unknown.” So is most of Lathrop east of Interstate 5.
Sounds ominous, but in light of the higher elevations in most of these areas I can only guess that “depth unknown” means somewhat less than 3 feet of water.
Arguably more helpful are the flood evacuation maps recently published by the county Office of Emergency Services. While these maps are not searchable, there’s one for most urban neighborhoods in the county, with a wider range of predicted inundation. They’ve also shown features like evacuation routes, rallying points and places of high ground like the levees (contrary to what your instinct might tell you during a flood).
Check out the OES maps for yourself. Click on your area of interest, and then, for best viewing, select the PDF option on the right.