Floodplain & Drainage

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

The City of Garland participates in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FEMA has published Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) graphically showing the extents of approximately 4,200 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 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 users 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 Damage 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.

Flood Insurance

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 instructions for an Elevation Certificate and Flood Proofing may be obtained at the links below.

If you need an elevation certificate for a property the link below will take you to the FEMA web site with their instructions and application.

National Flood Insurance Program Elevation Certificate and Instructions

In some instances Floodproofing can be performed to protect non-residential structures from flooding.  The link to the Flood Proofing form and instructions is provided below.

NFIP Flood Insurance Floodproofing Certificate for Non-Residential Structures

FEMA's NFIP relies on an insurance risk rating pricing methodology called Risk Rating 2.0- Equity in Action. This methodology uses methods and data sets that are closely aligned with how private insurance companies rate policies which enables FEMA to deliver rates that are actuarially sound, equitable, easier to understand and better reflect a property's flood risk. 


If a flood warning is issued by the National Weather Service, the Garland Alert System activates and sends 24-hour automated notifications to residents who have registered for flooding alerts. Likewise, if an evacuation is issued, the Garland Alert System can be utilized to send neighborhood-specific messaging to those in the evacuation zone if residents are registered in the system.

To register for the Garland Alert System, visit GarlandTX.gov, click on the ALERTS icon and follow the prompts.

Additionally, residents can purchase an All Hazards NOAA Weather Radio for immediate indoor weather warnings 24 hours a day. The NOAA radios equipped with Specific Area Message Encoding technology allow residents to program the radio for the specific counties they want to receive warnings for, and those warnings are received directly from the National Weather Service as soon as they are issued.

additional information

For more information on Elevation Certificates, please see our Frequently Asked Floodplain Questions. For more information, see the City of Garland’s annual Flood Safety Information Report (PDF).

For additional online resources, see the list of hyperlinks below:  

Department of Homeland Security
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
USGS Real-Time Streamflow Data for Rowlett Creek
Flood Smart
FEMA Flood Map Changes Viewer 
Texas Flood Information Viewer
Texas Water Development Board (TWDB)
Texas Floodplain Management Association (TFMA)