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FEMA Plans to Update Brazos County Flood Maps

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency says a third of the nation's community flood maps are at least 15-years-old and need updating.

Which means you could be living in a flood zone and not even know it.

Half of hurricane-related deaths in the U.S. are caused by flooding -- not on the coast, but inland.

Leaving communities like Bryan/College Station susceptible to the effects of a hurricane.

"Our proximity to the gulf and the tropical type thunder storms can cause flash flooding," said Bryan Assistant City Engineer Paul Kaspar.

The best defense is an up-to-date flood map.

Bryan's Assistant City Engineer says 1992 was the last time the floodplain was mapped.

Since then, the city has revised certain areas as development increases.

"We're real fortunate in Bryan/College Station that the maps are in pretty good shape, but it wouldn't hurt to update them," said Kaspar.

Relying on an outdated flood map could harm commercial and residential property owners who ultimately pay for flood damage.

"A lot of communities have what's called A-zones and those communities don't have good maps to tell them where the floodplains are. For our community, we've done things to help FEMA in the process," said Kaspar.

Which will pay off for citizens.

FEMA looks to the city to regulate the 100 year floodplain, so residents can qualify for federal flood insurance.

In fact, Bryan residents get a 5 percent discount because the city has gone above and beyond in ensuring the flood boundaries are not encroached upon.

Bryan is a part of the community rating system, where the better the rating the cheaper federal flood insurance gets.

That's why a mailer was sent out last week to educate those living near the floodplain.

All the preparation is not in anticipation that a massive flood will occur, but its better to be safe than sorry.

"I don't know that I've ever seen a 100 year flood -- I don't think we're really experienced what FEMA is trying to prevent," said Kaspar.

But Brazos County is a part of FEMA's map modernization project.

As soon as next year, new maps will be in the works, which could save lives and property if the unexpected hits our area.

To see if your home is near the floodplain log onto www.bryantx.gov.