BEXAR COUNTY, Texas – The San Antonio River Authority (SARA) is working to help property owners and renters figure out how changes to the floodplain map could impact their plans for the future.
The updated maps are drafts until they become official by FEMA in a few years, which will, in turn, affect insurance and construction policies.
Engineers with the San Antonio River Authority have been looking over data as far back as 2017 and rainfall predictions by the National Weather Service to come up with the drafts.
The maps are being explained through community meetings to help residents understand their flood risks.
Erin Cavazos, manager of ecological engineering for SARA, says property owners must remember flood predictions don’t always cover everything.
“There are a lot of factors beyond the flood plain that don’t get mapped because we can’t know everything. We can’t know how every driveway is curving into a property or how it is relative to all the ground everywhere,” Cavazos said.
Rebecca Nelson, a spokesperson with USAA, said homeowners and renters should review their policies annually and make changes as needed. When it comes to flood insurance, she says people should understand their risk based on new information, but sometimes even those outside a flood zone can still have flooding problems.
“We say that if it can rain, it can flood,” Nelson said. “When water starts rising, it’s too late to get a flood insurance policy.”
A standard homeowners policy does not cover flooding. It takes roughly a month for a policy to become active.
The San Antonio River Authority is hosting a series of meetings to help people understand the flood map.