LOWER FLOOD INSURANCE RATES
The recently completed Sims Bayou Federal Flood Risk Management Project
provides a “mega-example” of how flood damage reduction projects can result in
lower flood insurance rates for thousands of Harris County residents by
removing the 1 percent (100-year) floodplain designation from their
This mega-project, completed in 2015, included 19.3 miles of bayou
enlargements along Sims Bayou and the replacement or modification of 22
bridges. In addition, the Harris County Flood Control District used local funds
to construct three stormwater detention basins along Sims Bayou.
Flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs or floodplain maps) for Harris County were
updated during the course of the project by the Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) to reflect the benefits of completed Sims project components from
the Houston Ship Channel to downstream of Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard.
Hundreds of property owners in that part of the 94-square-mile Sims Bayou
watershed saw significant reductions in their flood insurance rates.
Effective May 18, 2016, FEMA revised the floodplain boundaries again, this
time to reflect the benefits of Sims project components from downstream of
Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard to downstream of Carlsbad Street. This
revision resulted in removal of the floodplain designation from approximately
4,400 additional homes and businesses in the Sims Bayou watershed.
FEMA’s process for revising floodplain maps is detailed and can take several
years. It is an important step in achieving the full benefits of flood damage
reduction projects planned and built in Harris County. Everyone in Harris
County needs flood insurance!
Other recent examples include: