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Water Central Texas-Flooding

Water reaches the bottom of a bridge in the city of Austin during the 2015 Memorial Day floods.

General Information Drought & Conservation

As flooding becomes more prevalent in the region, it is important to understand what actions other cities and counties are implementing. CAPCOG has compiled the CAPCOG counties’ Flood Damage Prevention Ordinances and flooding studies and reports produced by CAPCOG, and cities and counties in the ten-county region.

Flood Damage Prevention Orders in CAPCOG

Natural Hazard Risk Awareness

Economic Resilience from Flooding The front page of a digital presentation about flooding. Using Additional/Best Available Flood Data to Enhance Flood Risk Analysis
       

Flooding Studies from CAPCOG Member Governments

Click to read the Travis County Flood Mitigation Study 2017 Travis County Flood Mitigation Study 2017 Click to read the City of Austin Onion Creek Flood Study City of Austin Onion Creek Flood Study
Click to Read the City of Austin Upper Brushy Creek Floodplain Study City of Austin Upper Brushy Creek Floodplain Study Click to read the Disaster Resiliency & Recovery in The Texas Capital Area Study. Disaster Resiliency & Recovery in the Texas Capital Area

 

Other Flooding Resources

   
The EPA's Flood Resilience Flood Guide cover page, which shows images of people talking about flooding mitigation and images of flood damage. EPA’s Flood Resilience: A Basic Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities
This guide is a one-stop resource to knowing flood threats and identifying practical mitigation options to protect critical assets.
The cover of the State Flood Assessment. It shows flooded homes, buildings, crops and roadways. The State Flood Assessment
This report provides an initial assessment of Texas’ flood risks, an overview of roles and responsibilities, an estimate of flood mitigation costs, and a synopsis of stakeholder views on the future of flood planning. 

Flooding case studies

Travis County revised floodplain development requirements on Atlas 14 (posted June 2019)

Travis County expanded its floodplain regulations for land development to include the Flood Insurance Rate Map’s (FIRM) 500-year floodplain instead of the 100-year floodplain after the release of the National Weather Services’ Atlas 14 historic rainfall study. The change affects floodplain management and drainage infrastructure as new development projects will need more capacity to handle larger estimated rainfall totals and flood events. 

Although using the 500-year floodplain and the Atlas 14 data increases infrastructure construction costs for developers and landowners, it allows for more resilient infrastructure that can better withstand destructive weather and prevents spending on rebuilding infrastructure because of such events.  

Completed in 2018, Atlas 14 provides more accurate rainfall values than estimates developed 40 to 50 years ago due to decades of additional rainfall data; an increase in the amount of available data, both in the number of stations and their recording periods; and improved methods used in the analysis. According to the study, Central Texas is likely to experience larger storms than previously expected which increases flood risks. Modeling for the 25-year, 100-year, and 500-year storms all expanded in their area and elevation because of the redefined rainfall intensities. In most cases, the new 100-year floodplain could encompass the previous 500-year floodplain.

Since it will take years for FIRMs to be updated, counties and cities have the authority to adopt higher floodplain standards to ensure new land development projects are designed and built to what will be the new 100-year floodplain once the jurisdiction’s FIRM is remapped.