The new tool updates a mapping application that was part of Tropical Storm Allison Recovery Project. The improvements include regular updates of revisions FEMA makes to the official flood maps. The Flood Control District's Heather Saucier says a new mapping feature will also show where so-called "ponding" typically takes place during heavy rains.
"This type of flooding, it's not because a bayou has come out of its banks and flooded a home, but it's essentially just those low-lying areas that tend to collect storm water when we get a lot of rain in a very short period of time. So areas that are likely to pond with storm water are shown on this new mapping tool as well."
Saucier says residents will now have an easier time figuring out where they live in relation to floodplains.
"Now when you go and launch the mapping tool, there's a box where you can type in your address and it will show where your home is located on the map relative to any mapped floodplains that there might be. There also will be box that pops up you're in certain areas that will let you know who your floodplain administrator is, so if you do have official questions about your floodplain status, you will be directed to the appropriate people to help answer those questions."
She says the mapping tool also includes a detailed glossary where residents can educate themselves about flooding risks in Harris County.
For more information, view the Flood Education Mapping Tool.