TCWP’s Community Education and Risk Communication (CERC) Team is proud to support the City of Rockport as they work to strengthen their floodplain management practices. At the City’s request, TCWP recently provided City Council members with information on the benefits that “freeboard” regulations can have on flood risk reduction.
What is freeboard?
Floods cause more damage in Texas communities than in any other state.
To help address this, over 50 counties and communities in Texas have adopted “freeboard” requirements, which is another term for elevating a building’s bottom floor above the predicted flood heights set forth in a community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).
Because FIRMs are based on one type of flood event for insurance purposes, actual flood events can and do exceed these predicted heights due to a number of reasons, such as varying rainfall intensity, wave action, urbanization of the watershed, etc.
Communities that have chosen to adopt freeboard requirements have directly reduced the impacts of property damage from floods, lowered flood insurance rates for their homeowners, and established their communities as leaders in disaster management.