Flood Prevention and Precautions

Every year, flooding causes millions of dollars of property damage in California. City crews help minimize damage throughout Poway by maintaining the storm drain system and cleaning out channels on public property. Property owners should also do their part before the rains come to protect their property as well as surrounding properties.

  • Inspect, clean and repair rain gutters, rooftops, and yard drains.
  • Ensure proper ground cover such as vegetation or mulch is in place to prevent erosion. In an emergency, cover disturbed soils with plastic sheeting secured with sandbags.
  • Do not dump or throw anything into the ditches or streams. Trash, grass clippings, and branches can accumulate and plug channels, which contributes to flooding. If your property is next to a ditch or stream, please do your part and keep the banks clear of brush and debris. If you see dumping or debris in ditches or streams, contact Public Works at 858-668-4700 .
  • Any alteration to your building or land requires a permit from the City of Poway. Building permits may be obtained at the Development Services (1st Floor of City Hall).
  • Because the City participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, talk to your insurance agent about the need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. This insurance is backed by the federal government and is available to everyone, even for properties that have previously flooded. If you already have flood insurance, make sure that it covers the contents as well as the building structure.
  • Check your property for the possibility of flooding. Flood maps and flood protection references are available at the Poway Public Library. To inquire if you are in a mapped floodplain, visit Development Services (1st Floor of City Hall). For flood zone information and copies of elevation certificates on structures built in the floodplain since 1995, call Development Services at 858-668-4600 .
  • When heavy rain is forecast, the City makes accessible free, unfilled sandbags and loose sand at three locations in Poway. View the list here
  • To report flooding, call Public Works at 858-668-4700 (during business hours) or 858-668-4751 (after hours).

Additional information on protecting your property from flooding can be found at www.floodsmart.gov and at www.fema.gov/flood-insurance

  • For the current gage height (height of the water above typical condition reference point) in Los Penasquitos Creek at a monitoring station between Black Mountain Road and I-15, please see the data provided by USGS at this link.
  • For real-time Poway rain data (accumulation and increment) at a station located in Community Park, please see the County of San Diego Flood Control District’s webpage.

All Elevation Certificates submitted to the City are kept on file and are linked here.