Monthly Featured Story - September 2012 | Texas Water Development Board

A closer look at TWDB's Flood Mitigation Planning Division September 2012

When floods or hurricanes strike in our state, it's like everything else here: Texas-sized. TWDB's Flood Mitigation Planning Division also works with Texas communities in a big way, by helping them navigate state and federal flood protection grant programs, implement flood mitigation projects, and meet and maintain eligibility requirements in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Loans for storm water and non-point source pollution control and flood control are also available through the TWDB.

Our Flood Mitigation Planning Division is composed of a Grants team and a Community Assistance Program team.

Our Grants team has responsibility for the Flood Protection Planning program, a state grant awarded to communities to help evaluate structural and nonstructural solutions to flooding problems. This grant considers flood protection needs of the entire watershed; $41 million is allocated annually to help fund these projects.

The Grants team also supports two federal grants. The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program has awarded more than $51 million across the state since 1998. The program provides Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds to help communities implement measures that reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to buildings, homes, and other structures insurable under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The other federal grant program, Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL), has provided $85 million to Texas communities since 2008. This program is in place to reduce or eliminate the risk of flood damage to "severe repetitive loss" residential structures insured under the NFIP.

TWDB's Community Assistance Program works to ensure that 1,232 Texas communities comply with federal NFIP regulations. Our team does this by developing community assistance contacts and visits, offering training workshops throughout the state, and providing technical assistance when needed.

The Community Assistance team works closely with the Texas Natural Resources and Information System (TNRIS) floodplain mapping section, which answers floodplain mapping questions and develops data that help homeowners, business owners, state and local governments, and others access more accurate flood hazard and risk information.

TNRIS has a collection of 15,000 high water marks that is now accessible in one location. These high water marks are used to calibrate floodplain studies and for public information—300 have been recorded so far this year.