Texas Flood Plan Shows One in Six Residents Live With Flood Risk

One-fourth of the state’s land falls within 100-year or 500-year floodplains.

1 minute read

May 29, 2024, 10:04 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Texas Flood

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A draft statewide flood plan for Texas estimates that one in six of the state’s residents — or over 5 million people — live in a flood-prone area, reports Alejandra Martinez in The Texas Tribune.

The plan, developed by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), was a result of a 2019 law passed after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston area.

As Martinez explains, “The plan used existing flood data to create the maps that served as a baseline, but many state regions either didn't have flood maps, or used outdated maps. Local water managers filled the gaps with their knowledge and the TWDB contracted flood risk modeling data company Fathom to help.”

The TWDB recommends a variety of flood mitigation strategies, but Martinez notes that “the state doesn’t have a reliable source of revenue for flood projects unless state lawmakers approve additional funding each legislative session.”

The TWDB is also asking the state to implement an early warning system for flooding and provide technical assistance to small and rural communities. “Because money is limited for flood projects, the regional groups recommended that the state give counties the authority to collect drainage fees in unincorporated areas — currently only cities can charge such fees. The regional groups argue this would help counties self-finance flood mitigation and drainage projects outside of city limits.”

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 in The Texas Tribune

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