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The maps are being updated because the majority of the maps are based on analyses that were performed over 25 years ago. Watershed conditions such as topography have changed and there has been significant added development. Furthermore, analysis tools and historical data collection have improved over time and will increase map accuracy.
Flood hazard mapping is an important part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as it is the basis of NFIP regulations and flood insurance requirements. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains and updates data through Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and risk assessments.
There is no set timeline. Flood zone designations may be revised when new and more accurate information becomes available because of a FEMA-funded restudy or because the community makes the information available to FEMA. Several factors influence the frequency with which flood maps may be updated, such as the extent of new development and the completion of flood-control projects.
There are no comprehensive updates foreseen in next 10 years.
FEMA initiated a partial update in 2010. In 2012, the Upper Brushy Creek Water Control and Improvement District (WCID) initiated a flood protection plan that included watershed modeling. Communities within the watershed desired to use the modeling as the basis for a comprehensive mapping update. The WCID then partnered with FEMA and the Texas Water Development Board to complete the process.
The updated maps encompass the Upper Brushy Creek Water Control and Improvement District (WCID) boundary, which includes much of southwest Williamson County.
In general, updated flood levels will increase, i.e., more properties are likely to be in the updated floodplain. When new maps are issued, your risk may have changed along with your flood insurance requirements. Property owners are encouraged to review the updated maps and discuss implications with their insurance agent. If you've been mapped into a high-risk area, you will be required to purchase flood insurance if your mortgage is through a federally regulated or insured lender. It is possible to save money through a process known as grandfathering provided by the NFIP.
If your property is mapped out of a high-risk area, your flood insurance costs will likely decrease.
Property owners or other persons who wish to follow the progress of the PMR should consult their community's Floodplain Administrator. This is the local official who keeps all of the community's flood hazard maps and FIS report, and who corresponds with FEMA at various stages of the revision process.
For properties located in the City of Cedar Park, please contact the Engineering Department via email.
The status of ongoing map revisions can also be checked on the FEMA website, or by calling the FEMA Map Information Exchange toll free at 877-336-2627 (877-FEMA MAP).
Mortgage companies usually require flood insurance for homes and businesses in the floodplain. There is a Newly Mapped Policy available for the first year when there are changes to floodplain maps.
The Grandfather rule may save money on flood insurance rates for qualifying property owners. If a new flood map shows a high-risk property is at greater risk for flooding than shown on the previous map, the flood insurance rate will likely change. The NFIP grandfather rule may save money by locking in the previous flood zone or the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) for insurance rating purposes after the new map becomes effective.