Area Homes Removed from Flood Danger

Several hundred North Pleasanton residents should be pleasantly surprised in the next few months when Hacienda Business Park sends them official notification that their homes have been removed from the 100-year flood plain. Besides meaning that the chances of their homes flooding has been eliminated, removing the flood plain boundaries also means a substantial reduction in homeowner insurance for those previously affected homes.

Some $5 million worth of new flood control improvements are responsible for the change in the Zone A, or flood plain, boundaries, according to Pete Ruggeri, the civil engineer for the firm of Bissell & Karn in charge of the project for the developers of Hacienda, Callahan-Pentz Properties and The Prudential Insurance Company of America.

"About 700 homes will be removed from the present federally designated flood plain, and flood hazard insurance rates could be eliminated as early as July 1," added Ruggeri, who worked for the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Construction District for seven years before coming to Bissell and Karn 6 ½ years ago.

On that date, each homeowner's insurance company will be able to call the Federal Insurance Agency (FIA) and get information on the new Zone A boundaries and the new flood levels outlined in the Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

Zone A is the area where the streets are most likely to flood. Before the improvements some streets in the affected area have recorded as much as six feet of water during the rainy season.

Before the improvements, the homes were sitting in what is known as the 100-year Flood Plain. ''There are storms of the greatest intensity that have the statistical likelihood of happening once every 100 years ... but, then again, they could happen five times in one year. The last 100-year storm recorded in this area was in the mid 1950s,'' said Ruggeri, a University of Santa Clara graduate.

"The storms of January, 1983 were 25-year storms,'' he added.

"The 700 Pleasanton residents who upon receipt of their information packets are now officially out of Zone A, need only notify their insurance agents of that fact,'' stated Ruggeri.

Then the insurance company can call the FIA to get the official information.

"It is important to remember that the insurance company will not contact you. You must contact your insurance company,'' pointed out Ruggeri.

Once the federal government prints the maps, telephone calls to Washington, D.C. will be unnecessary - the insurance companies should be able to obtain copies of the maps easily.

The flood control improvements were started in 1981 during the initial phases of Hacienda Business Park construction. All the flood control costs were paid for by the developers.

Chabot Canal was moved 1,000 feet east from Hopyard and deepened and widened as part of the Hacienda project.

Tassajara Creek was enlarged to accept more water and will now prevent the flooding of Old Santa Rita Road.

The Arroyo de la Laguna was widened and now is capable of handling the flow from 100-year storms. The cost of this improvement was shared by Hacienda and Ponderosa Homes.

The new boundaries and maximum flood levels are now in the nation's capital and according to Ruggeri, "Everything's done. Everyone is in agreement and now we just have to wait out the red-tape process.''

To see a reproduction of the original article and edition of Pleasanton Pathways, visit: March 19, 1984 Pathways.

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