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Flood Zone in Sugar Land. Help!


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I am buying a house in Sugar Land in the Riverpark subdivision. I am in the negotiation process right now.

However, using this link (www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart), yesterday I just found out that Sugar Land is in a high risk of flood. This information made me panic :P.

This house will be the biggest purchase I ever make.

How bad the flood in the Sugar Land area?

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Riverpark is adjacent to the Brazos River, but is theoretically protected from flooding by a levee system. In theory, the levees are built to withstand the 100-year flood on the Brazos River.

I qualify that for two reasons:

#1) First and foremost, any levee system is subject to failure. There is no levee that is 100% failure-proof. Besides the slight potential for structural failure (a la New Orleans), there will always be the risk that the Brazos will get a flood higher than the theoretical 100-year flood. That risk may be small, but the problem is that no one knows when it will happen.

#2) Fort Bend County flood maps are undergoing a revision right now. Rumor has it that the new 100-year flood elevations on the Brazos River will be higher than the existing levees of many existing subdivisions. I don't know if Riverpark is one of those subdivisions, but chances are that its levees are too low.

Now, I'm not trying to scare you too much...In light of the upcoming floodplain revisions, I understand that the levee districts in Fort Bend County are already coming up with plans to raise their levees. Of course, those funds do have to come from somewhere...which might mean increased taxes within the Levee Improvement District.

Also, in the event of a catastrophic flood on the Brazos that will overtop the levees, you should have plenty of time to evacuate. The Brazos has such a large watershed that it takes days or weeks for a large flood to move downstream. You should know in advance that a flood is coming, in enough time to get out of your house...so you shouldn't be in danger of losing your life.

There is more risk of losing your property. Therefore, flood insurance would be highly recommended. It may not be mandatory, but I think it should be mandatory for residents behind levees.

In fact, no one in the Houston area is safe from flooding, and EVERYONE should purchase flood insurance. It's cheap for those that aren't in the 100-year floodplain...somewhere around $200-$300 per year ($15-$20 per month).

In summary, you'll be relatively safe in Riverpark, but just know that there is more potential for flooding, and make sure you're insured for it!

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Keep in mind with all of the torrential rain the entire state of Texas has had for the past couple of months, the Brazos still didn't overflow it's banks

Correct...I believe I recently read that the Brazos' average flow for the month of July was a record...something like double the previous record.

Of course, that's an average for the entire month. The Brazos didn't come close to hitting any peak flood elevation records. In other words, we got a lot of rain in July, but it was spread out. The Brazos has been much higher at certain times in the past than it ever got this July.

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A study of the 100 year flood plain of Brazos river is being done. Results will most likely be released this fall. Expected re-mapping of Floodplain in 2008/2009 timeframe and the floodplain is expected to be higher than it is now. Sienna Levees were built 2 feet higher than what is required by FEMA and we do not expect Sienna to be affected by the new floodplain map. Some older parts of Sugarland might have to raise their Levees or be in the new floodplain.

Info above taken from this post: http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/i...showtopic=11969

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I am buying a house in Sugar Land in the Riverpark subdivision. I am in the negotiation process right now.

However, using this link (www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart), yesterday I just found out that Sugar Land is in a high risk of flood. This information made me panic :P .

This house will be the biggest purchase I ever make.

How bad the flood in the Sugar Land area?

Not bad at all. You don't need to buy flood insurance. Lived in the Riverpark area for a couple of years and recently moved to Canyon Gate. Only bad thing is traffic in the mornings when going to work.

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Not bad at all. You don't need to buy flood insurance. Lived in the Riverpark area for a couple of years and recently moved to Canyon Gate. Only bad thing is traffic in the mornings when going to work.

Just because you haven't flooded in a "couple of years" doesn't mean you are safe from flooding. We really haven't had many big rains in the last few years.

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Just because you haven't flooded in a "couple of years" doesn't mean you are safe from flooding. We really haven't had many big rains in the last few years.

People who lived there back during Allison said they didn't have any flooding. I had asked them this before deciding to buy there back in 2004.

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People who lived there back during Allison said they didn't have any flooding. I had asked them this before deciding to buy there back in 2004.

While Sugar Land had a lot of rain during the week of Allison, they never got "100-year storm" rainfall totals. A 100-year storm in the Houston area is generally about 13 inches of rain in 24 hours.

Sugar Land got about 15 inches during the week of June 5-9...most of that occurring on June 7, with rainfall around 9 inches that day.

That's a huge rainfall, I recall that it caused a lot of flooding in Fort Bend County, but still not a 100-year rainfall.

Also keep in mind that if the storm had just tracked 30 miles or so to the southwest, Sugar Land could have been the one to enjoy 35 inches of rain that week, and 25 inches of rain in 12 hours, instead of northeast Houston.

What I'm saying is...you never know when or where the big one is going to hit. But we do know that the Houston area is susceptible to massive rainfall amounts. The US record for 24-hour rainfall was in Alvin in the late 1970's...43 inches in 24 hours. If you get that kind of rainfall, you're going to flood. Because you never know when or where that next big rain will hit, EVERYONE in the Houston area should buy flood insurance. It's very cheap if you're not in the floodplain (around $15/month).

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My parents have lived in River Park since either late 2000/early 2001 (I can't remember exactly when they moved) and have not flooded...yet. We were all in Las Vegas during Allison for my wedding so I couldn't tell you how bad it got, but it seems like Sugar Land didn't get much compared to other parts of town.

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