In an effort to reduce the amount of money being spent on disaster relief, Congress passed the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 which established the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The concept was to have those entities that inhabit the designated flood prone areas to share in the risk through purchase of federally subsidized flood insurance. Furthermore, prior to obtaining a loan that is backed by federal dollars, the borrower must purchase flood insurance as a condition of receiving the loan. Additionally, before an application can receive federal aid from flood related disasters, flood insurance is required as a condition of the loan or grant if the property is within the identified flood prone area.

The LCRA has successfully partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on the first two steps of a project designed to improve the accuracy of the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) published for the region. FEMA uses the maps to administer the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and to set individual homeowner rates for flood insurance. Local NFIP administrators use the maps to determine high-risk flood zones when permitting new development and designing local flood reduction projects.

Under the auspices of the federal Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP) program, LCRA and FEMA have partnered to:

  1. Complete an assessment of the mapping needs and deficiencies in all of the incorporated communities and the 11 counties in the lower river basin; and
  2. Complete a pilot project for the City of Lago Vista to produce digital FIRMs.

The products of these two projects are were reviewed by FEMA. FEMA’s Map Modernization (Map Mod) Program was in affect from 2004-2008.  This FEMA effort resulted in digital floodplains for several of the Lower Colorado River communities.

In order to continue the partnership and achieve the ultimate goal of producing up-to-date digital maps for all of the lower Colorado River communities, three additional projects are planned:

  1. Using data collected thus far, complete a master plan (including schedules and costs) which prioritizes the production of the new maps;
  2. Procure local, state and federal funding for the estimated effort; and
  3. Produce the new maps for the region.