While it is somewhat relieving to know that homes in the Brazos Valley are not located in a mapped floodplain, it may cause homeowners in our area to feel over-confident about their lack of risk. And that can be a costly mistake. For example, about 70% of the 2,300 homes that flooded in West Harris County last April were not in a mapped flooplain. Additionally, 65% of the area that flooded during Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 was not in a mapped floodplain. And those are our Houston neighbors, less than 100 miles away.
Floodplain maps can be useful indicators of certain flooding risks (from bayous and streams, the 100-year and 500-year floods, and coastal flooding) but they do not show all the risks for our area in the Brazos Valley, which receives about four feet of rain every year.
Other types of flooding risks are street flooding from roadside ditches and storm sewers that reach their capacity, and even extreme flooding events, such as Allison. About half of the flooding that occurs in our region falls into these categories.
Homeowners are advised to protect their property with flood insurance, as flooding is the number one natural threat to this area. To buy a policy, homeowners can call their local insurance agent or company. This could potentially help homeowers recover from extremely costly damages. Visit the National Flood Insurance Program online at: www.floodsmart.gov
Clay Lee – Realtor
Century 21 Beal, Inc.
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