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What You Need to Know About Floodplain Management
The City of El Campo, Texas is dedicated to minimizing the loss of life and property that is associated with flood events. Education and prevention are valuable and proven tools that help communities become resistant to these natural disasters. El Campo recognizes that the entire community is susceptible to flooding, not just those structures located within Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The following information has been provided to help inform property owners located within the flood-prone SFHA and also all property owners within the City of El Campo.

Flood Hazard
El Campo is located approximately 65 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico in Wharton County, Texas. The topography of the city is flat coastal plain with very little slope and the soil is primarily clay loom. These factors contribute to runoff with little percolation and threaten the city with potential flooding.

Climatic conditions of the area are characterized by warm summers and mild winters with the average rainfall being less than 50 inches per year. El Campo is subject to intense local thunderstorms of short duration, general storms extending over periods of several days, and torrential rainfall associated with hurricanes and other tropical disturbances. Additionally, the city is located in the Tres Palacios  Watershed, which is a significant flood threat to the area during severe rain events. The combination of climate, topography, and urban development yields circumstances that contribute to potential flooding on a regular basis.

Floodplain Map

Know Your Flood Risk - GIS Interactive Floodmap

Elevation Certificates
Elevation Certificates are FEMA forms used to rate a structure for flood insurance purposes. They are also needed by the City of El Campo Inspections and Planning Department to verify that a structure has been built in compliance with the floodplain ordinance and other regulations. The City has been requiring elevation certificates for development throughout the community at three stages:

  • Along with the construction drawings
  • Building under construction
  • Finished construction

Flood Insurance
Basic homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. The purchase of flood insurance is highly recommended. No home is completely safe from potential flooding. Just one inch of water in a home can cost more than $25,000 in damage, flood insurance can be the difference between recovery and financial devastation.

Please note, there is a 30-day waiting period before a flood policy becomes effective and the policy must be renewed every year.  Whether you’re a homeowner, business owner, or renter, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers flood insurance coverage to help you protect the life you’ve built.

Flood Insurance Rate Maps
Flood Insurance Rate Maps are issued by FEMA to identify different levels of flood risks. The Flood Insurance Rate Maps are primarily used for flood insurance purposes, but they also provide a basis for El Campo to regulate development within those areas. The location of a property relative to certain flood zones indicates what restrictions may be placed on new and substantially improved construction. FEMA's Flood Insurance and Flood Maps (PDF) explains the different flood zones.

Flood Insurance Rate Maps are available for viewing at the Planning & Inspections Department located at 315 E Jackson St, El Campo, TX , or directly through FEMA's Map Service Center.

Floodplain Development Permit Requirements
The City of El Campo has a Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance that requires a Development Permit for building, excavation, grading, filling, paving, or otherwise developing in the floodplain.  Please note that buildings constructed in the 100-year floodplain require an Elevation Certificate to be eligible for flood insurance.

Flood Safety
There are many ways to keep your home and family safe from flooding. Some of these include:

  • Turn Around Don’t Drown!
  • Stay away from powerlines and electrical wires.
  • Keep children away from floodwaters, ditches, culverts, and storm drains.

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Development in the Floodplain
Outreach Material