Floodplain Management


The City of Gainesville is dedicated to minimizing the loss of life and property that is associated with flooding events. Education and prevention are valuable and proven tools that help communities become resistant to these natural disasters. The City of New Braunfels recognizes that its entire community is susceptible to flooding, not just those structures located within Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA’s). The following information has been provided to help inform property owners located within the SFHA, flood prone areas and also all property owners within The City of Gainesville.

The Community Development Department is available to make site visits to review flooding issues, drainage and sewer problems, and provide one-on-one advice to property owners pertaining to development, renovation, and flood protection measures.

Build Responsibly!

Public Information & Flood Information 

The Community Development Department provides a comprehensive flood information program that is available to the public. Residents may obtain flood risk information including: basic map information, copies of Elevation Certificates, floodway information, depth of flooding information, lowest floor elevations, historical flood data, information on areas that flood outside of the designated Special Flood Hazard Area, the natural functions of the Special Flood Hazard Areas, and other flood related information by visiting the Community Development Department and meeting with a department representative in person, by phone, or by accessing the City’s website online.

Want to know the flood zone of your property to determine your flood risk? The City provides a map information service enabling all residents to determine the flood zone of a specific property. Paper copies of the City’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are available for viewing at the Community Development Department. A link to view current FlRMs can be found on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps web page.

The Community Development Department can also assists residents in non-technical review of individual properties when requested, as well as provide guidance on floodproofing, and other mitigation techniques used to help reduce flooding. This can be done either by visiting the Community Development Department or by City staff visiting the actual property to assess the situation in person.

Please feel free to contact the Community Development Department. To visit in person, we are located at 104 W. Hird Street Gainesville, Texas 76240; by phone at (940)-668-4799 or by email.

Nine Texas Flood Factoids

  1. Texas holds 6 of 12 world record rainfall rates in 24 hours or less - source United States Geological Survey (USGS).
  2. Texas leads the nation in flood-related deaths most every year -- averaging twice the next nearest state: California.
  3. Texas leads the nation in flood-related damages most every year - sharing this distinction with Florida and Louisiana.
  4. Some 20 million of Texas’ 171 million acres are flood-prone - more than in any other state. (Source: 2001 Blue Ribbon Committee Study -- Texas Senate Concurrent Resolution 68)
  5. Texas has approximately 8 million structures in floodplains. 3 million of these have no flood insurance. (Source: Blue Ribbon Study)
  6. Texas is among the top four states with repeat flood losses to the same properties. (Source: Blue Ribbon Study)
  7. From 1986 to 2000, Texas experienced 4,722 flash flood events. (Source: Blue Ribbon Study)
  8. Texas has 1.5 full-time employees to administer the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1000 communities (Source: Blue Ribbon Study)
  9. "Texas has the fewest numbers of state employees devoted to disaster preparedness of any of the most populous states," Tom Millwee, past head of Texas Department of Public Safety and Chair of Blue Ribbon Committee.

Flood Insurance

Purchasing flood insurance through the NFIP is one of the best ways to protect your home and belongings. Standard homeowner policies do not cover damage from floods.

  • There is normally a 30-day waiting period when purchasing a new policy. Flood insurance is sold through private insurance companies and agents and is backed by the federal government.
  • Under the ‘Mandatory Purchase of Flood Insurance’ requirement, homeowners in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) must buy flood insurance if they have a mortgage from a federally regulated lender. The requirement applies to all forms of federal or federally related financial assistance for buildings located in a SFHA. This affects loans and grants for the purchase, construction, repair, or improvement of any publicly or privately owned buildings in the SFHA, including machinery, equipment, fixtures and furnishings contained in such buildings.
  • Homes located outside the high-risk flood zone areas need flood insurance too. Nationally, over 25% of structures that flood each year belong to policyholders whose properties are not in a high risk flood zone.
  • Flood insurance is available for all properties located in the City of Gainesville.
  • If you’re renting a home or apartment, contents coverage is available from the NFIP to protect your valuables and belongings.

For more information about flood insurance, contact your insurance agent or visit: www.fema.gov/nfip

Letter of May Change (LOMC)

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 Community Development Department 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.

Important Websites

Floodplain Development

All development in The City of Gainesville needs local and state permits. Contact The City of New Gainesville’s Community Development Department at (940) 668-4799 for advice before you build, fill, place a manufactured home or otherwise develop. The zoning ordinance, flood control ordinance and the International Building Codes have special provisions regulating construction and other developments within floodplains. Without these provisions, flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) would not be available to property owners in The City of Gainesville. Any development in the floodplain without a permit is illegal; such activity can be reported to the City of Gainesville Community Development Department at (940) 668-4799.


Substantial Improvement/Damage


The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires that any reconstruction rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement, must conform or meet the same construction requirements as a new building and be constructed above the minimum Base Flood Elevation (BFE) listed on the city’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).


Substantial damage means damage of any origin sustained by a building or structure when the cost of restoring the building to its pre-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 % of the market value of the building before the damage occurred. Substantial damage is determined regardless of the actual repair work performed. The City of Plano requires by ordinance that any substantial improvement or substantial damage improvement must have a building permit.  

Permit information can be obtained at the Community Development Department located at 104 West Hird Street Gainesville, Texas 76240 or by calling (940)-668-4799.