Floodplain

Floodplain

Throughout time, floods have altered the floodplain landscape. These areas are continuously shaped by the forces of water – either eroded or built up through deposit of sediment. More recently, the landscape has been altered by human development, affecting both the immediate floodplain and events downstream. The result has been an increasing level of damage and destruction wrought by the natural forces of flooding on human development. 

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by Congress in 1968 to protect lives and property and to reduce the financial burden of providing disaster assistance. The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Victoria County participates in the NFIP and agrees to regulate floodplain development according to certain criteria and standard in accordance with Floodplain Ordinance (545-2251). To view the ordinance, you may request via email or review at Victoria County Floodplain Administration.

Communities regulate the floodplains to:
Protect people and property
Ensure the Federal flood insurance and disaster assistance are available
Save tax dollars
Reduce future flood losses
Reduce liability

To participate in the NFIP, Victoria County agrees to:
Adopt and enforce a flood damage prevention ordinance;
Require permits for all types of development in the floodplain (refer to Activities Requiring Permits);
Ensure that building sites are reasonably safe from flooding;
Estimate flood elevations that were not determined by FEMA;
Require new or substantially improved homes and manufactured homes to be elevated at or above the 
Base Flood Elevation (BFE);
Require other buildings to be elevated or flood proofed;
Conduct field inspections and cite violations;
Require Elevation Certificates to document compliance;
Resolve non-compliance and violations;

Activities Requiring Permits:
Most man made changes to land in the floodplain requires a permit. Examples include:

  • Constructing new buildings (including temporary or agricultural)
  • Additions to existing buildings
  • Substantial improvements to existing buildings (including interior renovation)
  • Repair of substantially damaged buildings
  • Placement of manufactured (mobile) homes
  • Subdivision of land
  • Parking or storage of recreational vehicles
  • Storing materials, including gas/liquid tanks
  • Construction of roads, bridges and culverts
  • Placement of fill, grading, excavation, mining and dredging
  • Alteration of stream channels
  • Oil and gas drilling


Floodplain fill can make things worse. Floodplains are supposed to store floodwater. If storage space is filled with dirt and other material, future flooding may be worsened. Make sure your floodplain fill project won’t harm your neighbors. Floodway fill is allowed only if an engineering evaluation demonstrates that “no rise” in flood level will occur.

Manufactured Homes Deserve Special Attention. Experience shows that manufactured homes are easily damaged. As little as one foot of water can cause substantial damage. Manufactured homes must be anchored to resist flotation, collapse, or lateral movement by being tied down in accordance with Victoria County’s ordinance or the manufacturers’ installation specifications.

Accessory (Appurtenant) Structures means a structure that is located on the same parcel of land as a principle structure. Accessory structures should be no more than a minimal initial investment, may not be used for human habitation, and must be designed to minimize flood damage. Examples: detached garages, carports, storage sheds, pole barns, and hay sheds. 

Recreational Vehicles. In a flood hazard area, an RV must: be licensed and titled as an RV or park model (not as a permanent residence); be built on a single chassis; have inflated tires and be self-propelled or towable by light truck; have no attached deck, porch, shed; be used for temporary recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use (no more than 180 days); be less than 400 sq. ft. in area; have quick-disconnect sewage, water, and electrical connectors. RVs that do not meet these conditions must be installed and elevated like Manufactured Homes.