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Dam Failure Inundation Zones

Few states have suffered more than California from dam failures. The collapse of the St. Francis Dam (1928) and Baldwin Hills Dam (1963) left in their wake hundreds dead and millions of dollars in property losses, and the near-collapse of the Lower Van Norman Dam (1971) threatened tens of thousands of lives downstream in San Fernando Valley. Hence, California mandates disclosure on sale if a property is within an area of potential dam-failure inundation.

Hosted by Geologist Patrick McClellan, B.Sc., M.A., CA PG# 3854

In this episode:

• Statutory dam-failure inundation maps
• “Worst-case” assumptions
• Local evacuation planning


Why this is important

• This is an area of potential flooding from a worst-case upstream dam failure.
• The zone delineates the evacuation area in a dam-failure emergency.
• Disclosure to a buyer is required under state law if a property is in this zone.
• The county or city General Plan Safety Element may provide maps of additional flood hazards.
• This disclosure is included in First American NHD and JCP-LGS disclosure reports.


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