A flood occurs when the existing channel of a stream, river, canyon, or other watercourse cannot contain excess water runoff from natural processes such as heavy or sustained rainfall events as well as human-induced incidents such as dam, pipe, or water tank failures that result in overflows onto adjacent lands. In coastal areas, flooding may also occur when large waves, high winds, or tides cause seawater to surge into areas that are above the normal high tide line.
Wildfires are a common occurrence in the hills and mountainous regions of Ventura County. By reducing or destroying vegetative cover and altering surface soil characteristics, fires often result in conditions that can significantly increase runoff and erosion during rainfall events. These conditions may also result in a debris flows (also referred to as mud flow) where a mixture of water-laden rock and sediment can funnel into stream channels and pose additional safety threats.
The focus of this section is to address all potential flood hazards by maintaining and improving the flood protection infrastructure, requiring all new developments provide adequate flood protection, and by continuing effective emergency response efforts in response to flooding events.
A goal and associated policies and implementation programs addressing flood control and drainage facilities are located in Chapter 5, Public Facilities and Services Element.