What is a flood?

When thinking about a flood, many individuals envision a hurricane or a wall of water racing down a river. While those types of events often produce floods, nothing quite so dramatic has to occur for flooding to take place. A flood can simply be an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry.

Flood can also be defined at a more technical level. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, a flood is defined as:

A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties […] from one of the following:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
  • Mudflow
  • Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above

A flood event may look very different depending on where you are, whether that's in a low-lying coastal area or alongside a steep riverbank, but in all cases, you need to know how to handle the situation.

For questions about Flood, please email us at flood@twdb.texas.gov.

Disclaimer: The intent of the TexasFlood.org is to provide basic flood information before, during, and after a flood event. The data on this website represents the best available information provided to the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) by its data contributors. The information on this viewer may not be displayed in real-time and should not be considered an “exact” representation of conditions in your area. Neither the State of Texas nor the TWDB assumes any legal liability or responsibility or makes any guarantees or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or suitability of the information for any particular purpose.

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