Farming interest began the development of the land today known as Orange County. As farming intensified and prospered, a better drainage system was required. The Orange County Board of Supervisors formed several “drainage districts”. Eventually the drainage districts merged and the Orange County Flood Control District (OCFCD), was established on May 23rd, 1927. OCFCD was created to provide control of flood and storm waters of the district and of streams flowing into the district, such as, the Santa Ana River or San Juan Creek, and to mitigate the effects of tides and waves, and to protect the harbors, waterways, public highways and property in the district.
OCFCD administered by the Orange County Public Works (OC Public Works), is governed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors. OCFCD is a political entity that has no employees, but owns land and assesses an annual benefit on all taxable real property in Orange County. Because OCFCD has no specific employees, the District and its property are administered, maintained, and operated by OC Public Works staff who are in turn employed by the County of Orange.
In 1968, the US Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The criterion was established to provide 100-year flood protection. In 1972, the first Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) was distributed; a majority of Orange County was in a flood zone. Since the creation of the NFIP, the goal of OCFCD has been to reduce or completely remove the floodplain along OCFCD flood control systems by constructing flood control channels, retarding basins, pump stations and dams that provide 100-year flood protection, throughout the County. Over several decades, OCFCD has reduced or removed floodplains from many properties and therefore reducing or eliminating the need for flood insurance premiums.
Projects are nominated through the process for the City Engineers Flood Control Advisory Committee (CEFCAC), a Brown Act committee that was formed in August 1966 and consists of six members. One member from each of the five supervisorial districts is chosen to represent the cities of each district. The sixth member is a representative of OC Public Works. The committee advises OCFCD of flood protection needs of the various cities and assists in the countywide selection of projects for the District’s annual budget within the funding capabilities set forth in the Orange County Flood Control Act.
Developers at times will be required to construct flood control improvements as a condition for a development. The OCFCD facilities improvement projects designed and constructed by developers and reviewed by the County, are not required to go through CEFCAC. After the developer completes a project, he files a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) with FEMA to remove the floodplain.
Making Orange County a safe, healthy, and fulfilling place to live, work, and play, today and for generations to come, by providing outstanding, cost-effective regional public services.
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