As a public safety measure, the Watershed Protection Department is buying out flood-prone homes near William Cannon Drive and South Pleasant Valley Road.
This area experienced serious flooding in 1998, 2001, 2013 and 2015. The neighborhoods were built in the 1970s, when most of the area was not thought to be in a floodplain. Since the houses were built, the floodplain maps have been revised to show the potential for dangerous flooding.
The City is buying out homes as the surest way to protect the public and first responders from flooding. Buyouts were recommended after a study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers revealed that other solutions would not be sufficient to protect the area from major floods.
October Floods 2015
The buyout projects have not stopped or paused due to the flooding. As of May 16, 2016, we have purchased 699 properties in the lower Onion Creek area with 156 properties remaining in the project areas. If you have flood insurance, we urge you to keep all receipts. You must obtain prior City approval for expenditures of insurance proceeds in excess of $15,000. For more information, download "Updates after October 2015 Flooding" or "Actualizaciones de la inundación de Octubre del 2015." For buyout or permitting questions, you may leave a message for staff on the Floodplain Hotline at 512-974-2843, and a staff member will call you back.
The Corps Project is a partnership between the City of Austin and the Corps of Engineers. More than 300 of the properties in this project area were bought before the Halloween Flood of 2013. The Corps Project Area is indicated in pink on the map below.
In June 2014, the City began buyouts in the 25-Year Project Area (dark blue on the map), and on March 5, 2015, the City Council authorized buyouts for approximately 240 houses in the 100-Year Project Area (light blue on the map below.) Click here for updates on the 25- and 100-Year Project Areas.
Hundreds of homes sustained “substantial damage” during the Halloween Flood of 2013. This designation means homeowners must either comply with current floodplain regulations when repairing their homes, accept a buyout offer if available or request a variance from the Austin City Council.
Have an emergency plan. Please keep in mind that you may be safer staying at your home, on your roof, if necessary, than trying to escape a flood in your vehicle. Most fatalities during floods happen in vehicles.
Make an emergency kit.
Get to know your neighbors. They are often the ones who can respond first in an emergency.