The City of Grand Prairie participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As a participating community, the City has adopted Floodplain Management practices through several ordinances that severely limit the development allowed in 100-year floodplains (the area inundated by a storm that has a 1% chance of happening in any year). For property with any portion located within the 100-year floodplain, regardless of structure location, a flood insurance policy may be required.
The City of Grand Prairie standards require all new structures be constructed two feet above the existing water surface elevation of the 100-year floodplain, or one foot above the "ultimate" water surface elevation. When developing along a major creek within the City of Grand Prairie, the developer must submit a Flood Study to the city showing the 100-year floodplain and water surface elevation based on both current land-use and future land-use assumptions. [See Building Responsibly for more information.]
Community Rating System (CRS)
The City of Grand Prairie participates in the Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS is a subset of the NFIP. It is a voluntary incentive program, which recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities which exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.
As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community’s actions meeting the three goals of the CRS:
- Reduce flood losses,
- Facilitate accurate insurance rating, and
- Promote the awareness of flood insurance.
Community participation in the CRS is in addition to participation in the NFIP. Participation in the NFIP does not automatically include participation in the CRS. As of September 2012, the City of Grand Prairie has a CRS ranking of 5, which qualifies residents for a 25% discount on flood insurance premiums for properties in the SFHA.
Public Information and Flood Information Assistance
The City’s Stormwater Department provides a comprehensive flood information program to the public about flooding. Residents may access flood information from the City by visiting the City Stormwater Department and meeting with a department representative in person, by phone, or by accessing the City’s website via the Internet.
The City of Grand Prairie Stormwater Office provides flood information, including flood zone determination for specific addresses, floodplain permits for proposed or existing structures, lowest floor elevations, data on historical flooding in the City, and copies of as-built Elevation Certificates, upon request. The City also assists residents in non-technical review of individual properties when requested, as well as guidance on floodproofing, and other mitigation techniques, to reduce flooding.
The City’s website provides a wealth of information for those residents with computer access.
Currently, the City sends information regarding availability of flood insurance to homeowners, banks, real estate companies, and insurance companies. Citizens are made aware that flood insurance is available for all properties located in the City, including properties located outside the regulatory 1% floodplain, or high-risk flood zone areas. This information is provided through letters mailed via the U.S. postal service, flyers in the utility bills, and in response to phone calls and inquiries from residents.
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)
The City also provides a map information service enabling all residents to determine the flood zone of a specific property. Paper copies are available for viewing at the City’s Planning and Development Center. Electronic maps may be viewed and printed online for free at the FEMA Flood Map Store.
Letters of Map Revisions (LOMR)
The delineation of the floodplain limits can change. If a developer wishes to alter and/or fill a portion of the floodplain, they must prepare a Flood Study showing no adverse effects or substantial changes in the water surface elevation. This flood study, along with a detailed application, may be submitted to FEMA to be considered for a Letter of Map Revisions (LOMR). If approved, the LOMR serves as an official revision to the FIRM. Individual property owners may also contest the floodplain designation for their property by submitting information to FEMA for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA).
The city has received many LOMRs and LOMAs within our city limits. Lenders and Insurance Companies are not always aware of these changes, so it may be necessary to call the Engineering Services Department at 972-237-8157 to determine if the floodplain map for your area has changed and to receive a copy of the change. Many Letters of Map Change can also be obtained online from the FEMA Flood Map Store.