Non-FEMA Flood Risk Areas



Flood Risk Outside of the FEMA Floodplain

While FEMA maps flood risk along major streams and creeks, most reported flooding in Fort Worth actually occurs outside of the FEMA Floodplain, in what the City refers to as “Non-FEMA Flood Risk Areas”. The City has categorized Non-FEMA Flood Risk Areas into two categories. Areas where the City has evaluated the non-FEMA flood risk in detail are called “City Flood Risk Areas” (CFRA), and these will be used to regulate development in the future. In contrast, the non-FEMA areas where the City has less detailed mapping, called “Potential High-Water Areas” (PHWA), are used to warn about potential flood risks.


In order to better protect property owners in CFRAs from flood risk, the City is revising the existing Floodplain Provisions Ordinance and Updating the Stormwater Criteria Manual. Currently, our regulations do not require Stormwater review for land disturbance less than one acre. With a revised ordinance however, new development and re-development in CFRAs would be required to show they comply with Stormwater regulations, regardless of size. Recommended Council adoption of the updates is planned to go forward spring 2023.


A phased rollout of mapping to help communicate flood risk outside of the FEMA Floodplains is planned this year:


Number of Flood Claims/Reports of Flooding Outside vs Inside Floodplain

In the City of Fort Worth, there are more flood insurance policies and claims located outside FEMA floodplains than inside FEMA floodplains.



What Non-FEMA Flood Risk Maps Mean to Property Owners:

When the ordinance revision is approved, any sized development or redevelopment within CFRAs will need to show they comply with City drainage standards by filling out a Certificate of Compliance. A Certificate of Compliance demonstrates how the development or redevelopment considered the existing flood risk to ensure new development is safe from flooding and that the development does not aggravate the flood risk to nearby existing homes and businesses. By understanding where non-FEMA flood risks are, property owners can make more informed decisions regarding developing, improving, and purchasing property. Flood Insurance within these areas is not required, but is recommended as a wise way to protect an owner’s investment.

To find out about your property's flood risk, visit: use the dropdown "reference" tab for flood risk info.

FAQs (PDF, 177KB)


Flood Risk Viewer 

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