Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are issued by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to identify different levels of flood risks. Flood Insurance Rate Maps are primarily used to help determine flood insurance rates under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but they also used by the City of Seabrook to regulate development within those mapped Special Flood Hazard areas. The location of a property relative to certain flood zones indicates what restrictions or regulations may apply to a new and / or substantially improved structure.
Flood Insurance Rate Maps are available for viewing as a map layer on the City’s GIS map system, at the Building Department located at 1700 First Street, or directly through FEMA's Map Service Center. The maps used by the City for compliance purposes (and those used by insurance agents) are the most recent (June 18, 2007); however, it is helpful for citizens to have access to all the maps to know what flood zone was in effect at the time of construction.
Flood Maps Have Changed
The preliminary maps for Harris County released in 2012 (DFIRM March 29, 2013) Have become effective January 6, 2017. Seabrook City Council adopted the new approved maps with the new Flood Damage Pretension ordinance at second reading November 18th, 2016 (Ordinance 2016-27). You can get more information on flood map changes by checking out the FEMA document entitled Understanding the Changes to Your Community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (PDF). For more information on how your specific property is affected by updated maps, contact Nick Kondejewski, Seabrook’s floodplain administrator at 281-291-5638, the Floodplain group, or visit the following websites:
- Digital FIRMette – Use the National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) to see your flood zone and create a FIRMette for your property.
- Risk MAPS – Risk MAPS is a nationwide program developed by FEMA to work together with states and local communities in building an understanding of natural hazard risk area.
- FEMA Mapping – FEMA's Map Service Center, find FEMA Map products and information on the mapping process.
The Texas Natural Resources Information System (TNRIS) is gathering data for a high water mark inventory for the state. The public is encouraged to send their pictures, emails, and other information to the agency at High Watermarks. High water marks, or debris lines, can establish a basis for understanding typical flooding events and can help experts estimate the kind of damage future floods may bring.