In Texas, flooding is the number one natural disaster. To identify flood hazards, the risks they pose to people and property, and the regulatory boundaries of floodplains, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) develops flood hazard maps, officially known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps or FIRMs.
Recently, Hays County received preliminary flood hazard maps in an effort to best describe the flood risks within the county. The updated flood hazard maps were prepared with the most up to date information available. These maps, once finalized, will serve as the basis for Hays County’s floodplain management program and serve as a tool for identifying areas prone to flooding. The maps are also used to determine flood insurance rates and requirements.
Property owners and residents are provided with an opportunity to review and provide feedback on the FIRMs during a formal review period called the “90-day Appeal Period” (THE APPEAL PROCESS). Submitted written appeals and comments will be consolidated by the communities within Hays County and provided to FEMA for consideration.
Why Hays County’s Flood Maps Need Updating
Hays County’s current flood hazard data dates back to 2005 and no longer accurately represents the area’s flood risk. Drainage patterns have changed due to factors such as land use, surface erosion, and other natural forces. As a result, the likelihood of flooding in some areas has increased significantly. Moreover, the technology used to estimate flooding has improved. Up-to-date maps will more accurately represent the risk of flooding; therefore, representing an important tool for Hays County to use in the effort to reduce risk and create a more resilient community.