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1,200+ lots added to flood zones in Waco

Posted at 11:08 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-08 00:08:59-04

The City of Waco has seen a lot of change to infrastructure and development over the years, and most recently, the city revealed an update to it's flood map.

Now over a thousand families may need to make adjustments live in these new flood zones.

Living on waterfront property has always been a dream for homeowners like Chris Leal.

"I'm sitting here on my back patio now and I've got the Brazos River directly about 180 yards behind me," said Leal.

Leal's property sits on a known flood zone in Waco and heavy rains bring the term 'water front living' to a new level.

"I enjoy my yard but when it floods it feels like im eating dinner in Buzzard Billy's sitting right there on the deck cause you have the fish and the water sunflower seed spitting distance away," said Leal.

But change may be coming for many other homeowners in Waco.

After more than 40 years, the City of Waco updated its flood plains.


"Your risk of flooding didn't change when we updated the maps, now you know what your risk is." said Roger Glick, P.E., PH.D., the Flood Plain Administrator for the City of Waco.

+2,290 acres were added and 550 acres were removed from in the latest findings.

921 single family homes, 324 multi-family homes are included in the new flood areas.

Most of which are people living in district 1 and district 2 in Waco along the Brazos River.

"At first take this is kind of shocking, it's a big change but it's not going to stop development, we're just going to be able to develop in a safer way," said Glick.

1,106 of properties in the new flood zones are nonresidential.

Lots with houses already constructed won't be required to elevate their home unless homeowners do renovations that increases it's value by more than 50 percent or if it receives damage from a flood.

For new construction houses will need to be elevated to protect them from any possible flooding.

"We would be underwater right now I would probably be chest high deep. All these houses on stilts the water would probably be right up to the base of it," said Leal.

Because of location Leal is required to have flood insurance, which he pays $2,200 a year for.

"Be prepared for anything that's going to happen on the water cause you don't know with this crazy weather, it just changes every year," said Leal.

Leal says thanks to his home being elevated, floods have never caused any damage to the interior and encourages residents in the new flood zones to consider flood insurance for protection.

Glick says if you live in a new flood zone and are wondering if you need flood insurance, the city does not require it, that's between homeowners and their mortgage lender.