The first type of partnership the Flood Control District participates in is a federal partnership. The Flood Control District was originally established as a special purpose district that was to serve as the local sponsor for the Harris County region for flood damage reduction projects developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps). That is still one of our primary roles today. The Corps remains one of our strongest federal partners. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is also a vital Federal partner in its development of floodplain information, and its pre- and post-disaster funding for flood damage mitigation.
Currently, the Flood Control District has active Corps-partnership projects along with six major bayou/channel systems (Brays, Clear Creek, Greens, Hunting, Sims & White Oak) and is in the process of proposing Corps-partnership projects along with two additional bayou systems (Halls & lower Buffalo).
The Flood Control District's partnership with FEMA led to the Tropical Storm Allison Recovery Project (TSARP), which resulted in new FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps for all of Harris County. These maps were produced using the best science and technology available at the time.
One of the key features of the new study effort involves developing new land surface elevations using cutting edge laser-based technology.
Another FEMA-partnership project relates to the buyout of homes that were built hopelessly deep in the floodplain. These homes were built prior to our current understanding of flooding potential and prior to strict flood plain building regulations. The most active and extensive program is the Tropical Storm Allison Home Buyout Program, in which homes that meet State and Federal requirements (were substantially damaged during Allison or have experienced multiple flood insurance claims) are being purchased on a voluntary basis, providing the homeowner with an opportunity for a new start (on higher ground) and the community with additional open space in flood-prone areas.
Our partnership with FEMA is critical to our Voluntary Home Buyout Program.
Stronger, Better-prepared Community
Over time, federal partnerships have brought hundreds of millions of dollars to the Harris County area for planning, engineering and implementing flood damage reduction projects. Given the history of Harris County and its natural flood potential, these federal partnerships will continue to directly result in a community with a better level of protection from flood damages.