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 and 2013. The neighborhoods were built in the 1970s, when most of the area was not considered to be in the floodplain. Since the houses were built, the floodplain maps have been revised to show the potential for deep and dangerous flooding.
The City is buying out homes as the surest way to protect the public and first responders from the dangers of flooding. Buyouts were recommended after a study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers revealed that other potential solutions would not be sufficient to protect the area from major floods.
The Corps Project is a partnership between the City of Austin and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. More than 300 of the properties in this project area were purchased before the Halloween Flood of 2013. The Corps Project Area is indicated in pink on the map below.
The City is completing other buyouts in the Onion Creek area, outside the Corps Project area. In June 2015, we began buyouts in the 25-Year Project Area (dark blue on the map below), and on March 5, 2015, the City Council authorized us to begin the buyout process for approximately 240 houses in the 100-Year Project Area (light blue on the map below.)
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.