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) 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 a 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 uses 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.
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 City can assist with the preparation of a new Elevation Certificate. For more information on Elevation Certificates, including the procedures and fees associated with obtaining a new one, please see our Frequently Asked Floodplain Questions page.