We are seeing unprecedented amounts of rain in our area which has led to flooding. This has affected many people/homeowners and forecasts for the future show potential for this to continue. Because of this, our government is making changes to the floodplains to help keep people safe and financially intact. Read below for more information.
Defined floodplains exist to save lives, even though they can be a major impediment for homeowners wishing to add on to their homes. Recent catastrophic flood events in Houston and, more recently, North Carolina, show the importance of greater awareness of floodplains and also of limiting the number of homes that are susceptible to severe flooding.
As residents have seen repeatedly since 2015, the Austin-area is subject to severe flooding. And this flooding is likely to get worse. According to a National Weather Service rainfall study, known as Atlas 14, Central Texas is more likely to experience extreme rainstorms going forward than in the past. Larger storms mean more rain, which often – though not always – translates into wider, more expansive flooding and therefore, wider and more expansive floodplains.
Based on the results of the Atlas 14 study, the City is re-drafting its floodplain maps to reflect the likelihood of more severe flooding. These changes will impact properties throughout the city and could result in adding about 3,200 properties to the 100-year floodplain, bringing the total number of Austin properties in the floodplain to 7,200. You can see a map of how the Atlas 14 changes are projected to impact properties at the City’s ATX Flood Pro website. ***Picture attached is from the Flood Pro website***
Though the City’s map revisions at this time will not impact federal flood insurance rates or requirements, properties added to the 100-year floodplain will be limited in how they can be redeveloped and improved, as determined by City ordinance. New structures that expand the footprint of an existing building would require a City Council variance, and substantial renovations of existing homes are subject to restrictions as well. In many cases, homes in 100-year floodplains need to be elevated above the floodplain to reduce safety risks.
Link for rain and lake statistics