Floodplain & Drainage

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

The City of Garland participates in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) National Flood Hazard Insurance Program (NFIP). FEMA has published Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) (PDF) graphically showing the extents of approximately 2,400 acres of 100-year floodplains primarily along Duck Creek, Rowlett Creek, Spring Creek, and their tributaries. The 100-year floodplain (also called the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is the area projected to be inundated by a flood that has one percent (1%) chance of occurring in any given 12 month period.

Most of the floodplain properties along the major creeks are dedicated for conveying floodwaters and preserving wildlife habitat areas. Passive recreational and park users are encouraged while encroachments and obstructions are prohibited.

The City has an aggressive floodplain management program. All new development projects are reviewed for compliance with the flood prevention ordinance. Flooding risks were significantly reduced for hundreds of homes and businesses in central and southern Garland along Duck Creek by the construction of a major channel widening project in the late 1990s.

Flood Insurance

A number of homes and businesses within the City still are at risk of flood damage. Most mortgage lenders require properties subject to flooding to carry flood insurance before underwriting loans. Standard property insurance policies do not cover damage from flooding due to rising water. Flood insurance is available in Garland through the NFIP to homeowners and business owners, as well as renters.

As a general rule, before a flood insurance policy can be written for a home or business, an Elevation Certificate must be prepared by a Registered Professional Engineer or a Registered Professional Land Surveyor. The City of Garland’s Engineering Department has copies of many of the previous Elevation Certificates that have been prepared throughout the City. These are available upon request. in addition, the instructions for an Elevation Certificate and Flood Proofing may be obtained at the links below.

If you need an elevation certificate for a property the link below will take you to the FEMA web site with their instructions and application.

National Flood Insurance Program Elevation Certificate and Instructions

In some instances Floodproofing can be performed to protect non-residential structures from flooding.  The link to the Flood Proofing form and instructions is provided below.

NFIP Flood Insurance Floodproofing Certificate for Non-Residential Structures

FEMA is updating the National Flood Insurance Program’s insurance risk rating through a new pricing methodology called Risk Rating 2.0- Equity in Action. This new methodology uses methods and data sets that are more closely aligned with how private insurance companies rate policies which will enable FEMA to deliver rates that are actuarially sound, equitable, easier to understand and better reflect a property's flood risk. When will these changes take place?

  • Phase I: beginning October 1, 2021, new policies will be subject to the new Risk Rating 2.0 methodology. On this date, existing policyholders can take advantage of decreased premiums if they are eligible for renewal.
  • Phase II: All policies renewing on or after April 1, 2022 will be subject to the Risk Rating 2.0 rating methodology.

Additional Information

For more information on Elevation Certificates, please see our Frequently Asked Floodplain Questions. For more information, see the City of Garland’s annual Flood Safety Information Report (PDF).