Homeowners, renters, and business owners in Cameron County are encouraged to look over their effective flood maps to determine their flood risks and make informed decisions.
New flood maps (known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (or FIRMs)) became effective for Cameron County, Texas on February 16, 2018. It had been nearly 30 years since the entire coastline was restudied and as a result, some residents and business owners saw a change in their flood risk– some areas increased, while others decreased. Similarly, the requirements and costs for flood insurance may have changed.
Prior to issuing the preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps in June 2015, FEMA and the communities determined that a large portion of Cameron County was behind a non-accredited levee, which meant the levee did not meet federal minimum standards. To move the coastal portion of the map update forward so that new flood risk information for that area could be released, the decision was made to separate out, or “seclude,” the area impacted by the levee, which would still be based on the previous study.
When the new flood maps became effective in February 2018, it was noticed that high-risk flood zones covering many of the resacas (oxbow lakes) in the secluded area did not line up with the resacas on the new aerial photo base map used in the overall study. Consequently, some buildings were newly shown in a high-risk area (known as the Special Flood Hazard Area or SFHA) and lenders began requiring flood insurance.
FEMA has realigned these areas and issued a “Notice to Users” explaining the realignment. To share this flood risk information, a public Open House is scheduled to provide citizens with more information about the coastal changes, as well as the realignment. FEMA, state, and local officials, as well as mapping and insurance specialists, will be available to answer questions. There will be no formal presentation, so residents and business owners are encouraged to come at their convenience.
2 – 7 p.m.
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Brownsville Event Center
1 Event Center
Brownsville, TX 78526
The effective FIRM can be viewed at https://MSC.FEMA.gov. Residents and business owners can also contact the floodplain administrator in each Cameron County community for more details. For more information on flood insurance, please contact your insurance agent or visit www.FloodSmart.gov.