FEMA Floodplain Management


Floodplain Management

Flooding in Live Oak

​Flooding in our city is caused by three sources: The West Saltillo Creek, East Saltillo Creek and the unnamed Tributary of Cibolo Creek.  Flooding in all three areas can come with little or no warning.
Floods and Flash Flooding are also dangerous.  Flowing water may appear to be moving slowly, however the speed and depth may be hard to judge, especially at night. Six inches of swift moving water can knock you off your feet and floodwaters two feet deep can float the average vehicles.
Your property may be high enough that it has not flooded recently.  However, it can still be flooded in the future because the next flood could be worse.  If you are in the floodplain, the odds are that someday your property may be damaged.  See “Notice To Residents Regarding The Special Flood Hazard Area” below.
Live Oak has a few areas of roadway that are susceptible to flood during heavy rains, posing a threat to safety and property.  Some portions of Live Oak are designated as being in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).  Heavy rains back in 1998 caused flooding and damage to buildings in these areas.  However, your property need not be located in a SFHA to sustain flood damage.  When drainage courses or storm drains become clogged, they will backup and overflow causing property damage to even upland structures.
To determine if you property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area, or if you have any questions about the flood hazards in Live Oak, please contact the City of Live Oak by phone at 210.653.9140, ext. 261; in person at City Hall, 8001 Shin Oak Drive, Live Oak, Texas, or by email at swayman@liveoaktx.net.  The City can provide information about the location of your property in relation to the flood zone and information about obtaining an Elevation Certificate.  Flood maps are maintained for the City and flood safety and flood preparedness information can also be obtained.  To have you learn more about the flood hazard in Live Oak, and what you can do about it, the City has available online more information to assist you in being prepared for flooding.  Please learn more about Flood Insurance because homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover you for flood damage.  You can also learn more about What You Can Do to keep your life and property safe in a flood.  Also, learn about the Floodplain and Regulations that help protect you from losses in a flood situation.
To help you get an idea of where the highest risk of flooding in Live Oak may occur, excerpts from the National Flood Insurance Rate Map are also available online.

The Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is the area subject to inundation by a l00-year flood, as shown on the current Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) compiled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This notice is designed to make you more aware of local flood hazards, the need to keep flood insurance in force, and other topics related to flood preparedness. Please take a few minutes to review all of the items presented and determine what actions you may need to take in order to protect yourself. This notice gives you some ideas of what you can do to protect yourself.

What You Can Do:

  • Rake up and bag leaves as often as possible before storms. Leaves clogging storm drains are the primary source of most flood occurrences. Do not dump or throw anything into drainage ditches or streams—it is a violation of the City Ordinances. Even grass clippings and branches can accumulate and plug channels and outfall structures. Blocked drainage ways simply cannot carry water, and when it rains the water has to go somewhere. Every piece of litter contributes to flooding.
  • Clean drains around your home, including roof gutters, downspouts, drain inlets, pipes, drainage ditches and driveway culverts.
  • Always check with the City of Live Oak 210.653.9140, ext. 244 before you build on, alter, re-grade, or fill on your property. Permit(s) may be required to ensure that projects do not cause problems on other properties.
  • If you do not have flood Insurance, talk to your insurance agent. Homeowner's insurance policies do not cover damage from floods.
  • Get at least three quotes on flood insurance.

During A Flood Watch:

  • Listen to the TV or radio for news and be prepared to act if there is a possibility that flooding will occur. If time permits, move valuable possessions to the upper floors or to safe ground. Then be prepared to evacuate and if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Report local flooding or severe runoff to the Live Oak Dispatch Center at 210.653.0033.

During and After a Flood — Flood Safety:

  • Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of weather related deaths, mostly during flash floods. Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Don't drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out. Please Remember the National Weather Service's theme, "Turn Around, Don't Drown!"
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The number two flood killer after drowning is electrocution. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to the Live Oak Dispatcher (9-1-1) and City Public Service 210.353.4357.
  • Have your electricity turned off by the Power Company. Some appliances, such as television sets, keep electrical charges even after they have been unplugged. Don't use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned, and dried.
  • Look out for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in places you typically wouldn't find them.
  • Look before you step. After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud can be very slippery.
  • Always remember too, floodwaters are considered contaminated water and anything covered by these waters must be de-contaminated.
  • Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don't smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated.

For additional information on preparedness contact the City's Office of Emergency Management at 210.653.9140, ext. 379.

Dear Lending, Insurance, and Real Estate Professionals:

Re: Flood Insurance Rate Map Zone Determinations

Although the lender makes the final determination, the City of Live Oak can provide you with Flood Insurance Rate Map information useful in making flood zone determinations for any particular property within the City. As a public service, the City of Live Oak will provide you with the following information upon request:

  • Whether a property is in or out of the Special Flood Hazard Area as shown on the current Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) of the City.
  • Additional Flood Insurance data for a site, such as the FIRM Zone, Floodway delineations, base flood elevations and or depth information, as shown the current FIRM.
  • Copy of completed Elevation Certificates and Letters of Map Revision (LOMR) information if available.
  • A handout on the mandatory purchase of flood insurance requirements to assist people who need a mortgage or loan for a property in the Special Flood Hazard Zone.

When contacting the City to obtain flood zone information, please be prepared to provide the street address. You may call the City Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for assistance.

Request Flood Insurance Rate Maps from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) by calling 1.800.358.9616, or visit the FEMA Map Center Service at https://msc.fema.gov/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreCatalogDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&

If you have any questions or inquiries regarding the City's Floodplain Management Program, please feel free to contact the City at the following address:

The City of Live Oak
ATTN: Floodplain Manager
8001 Shin Oak Drive
Live Oak, Texas 78233-2414
Ph: 210.653.9140, ext. 261
Fax: 210.653.2766

Homeowner's insurance policies do not cover damage from floods, so if there is a possibility that your belongings may be flooded, flood insurance must be purchased to cover this eventuality. The City of Live Oak participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Live Oak's participation makes available federally backed and reasonably priced insurance available to its citizens. All properties in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are required to purchase flood insurance. Since 25% of flood damage occurs in properties not in a high-risk zone, it may also be a good idea to purchase flood insurance even if you are not in a SFHA. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers federally backed flood insurance in communities that comply with the minimum standards for floodplain management. The NFIP imposes a 30-day waiting period after the purchase of flood insurance, so it is important to purchase flood insurance before the beginning of the rainy season to protect your home in the event of a flood. NFIP policies can also help provide funding to assist bringing structures into current building standards to reduce the risk of flood damage.

Live Oak's participation in the NFIP is determined by the City's work in managing its floodplain in ways that meet or exceed standards set by FEMA. When communities go beyond the minimum standards for floodplain management, the NFIP's Community Rating System (CRS) provides discounts off flood insurance premiums for policyholders in that community.

To get more specific information about Flood Insurance, go to FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program.


CRS Communities by Class as of October 1, 2006
  • Class 9 = 303 (29%)
  • Class 8 = 422 (40%)
  • Class 7 = 207 (20%)
  • Class 6 = 80 (8%)
  • Class 5 = 33 (3%)
  • Class 4 = 1 (Fort Collins, CO)
  • Class 3 = 1 (King County, WA)
  • Class 2 = 1 (Tulsa, OK)
  • Class 1 = 1 (Roseville, CA)
  • There are 1049 CRS communities as of October 1, 2006.
The City of Live Oak’s City Manager’s Office provides flood information, including flood zone determinations for specific addresses, floodplain permits for proposed or existing structures, lowest floor elevations, data on historical flooding in the City, and more.  The City can also provide in-office or on-site assistance to residents when requested, and provide guidance on flood proofing and other mitigation techniques to reduce flooding.  You can come by city offices at 8001 Shin Oak or contact the City Manager’s Office at 210-653-9140 to schedule a visit.

Maintaining safety and preventing flood damage in the City of Live Oak requires that the government and the citizens' work together to keep the city prepared for a flood.

Do not dump or throw anything into drainage ditches or streams: It is a violation of our City's ordinances and can be a source of flood occurrences in Live Oak. Even grass clippings and branches can accumulate and plug channels and outfall structures. Blocked drainage ways simply cannot carry water, and when it rains the water has to go somewhere. Every piece of litter contributes to flooding. It also helps to clean drains around your home, including roof gutters, downspouts, drain inlets, pipes, drainage ditches and driveway culverts. If you discover a drainage course that is not functioning properly, please contact the City of Live Oak at 210.653.9140, ext. 234.

Please obtain permits before building: Development in the City of Live Oak is carefully regulated and any construction that takes place, inside or outside the building, requires permits from the City. In the Special Flood Hazard Areas, special rules apply that require new developments be protected from flood damage, elevating the structure's lowest level above the base flood elevation. They must also be anchored to prevent lateral movement in the case of flooding. These rules also apply to any substantial improvements to buildings or repairs to any substantially damaged buildings. A substantial improvement is defined as an improvement or repair worth 50% of the original building's value. If you have any questions about permits or whether you need a permit, please contact the City's building department at 210.653.9140 ext. 244.

Recognize the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains: Although the Special Flood Hazard Area in Live Oak covers over only a small portion of the City, many of those acres are preserved as natural open space areas. Understanding and preserving these areas provides many benefits to the city, including flood protection. These areas spread out floodwaters, reducing their velocity and thus erosion damage, as well as collecting silt and sediments from upstream. They also act as a non-damaging location for floodwaters to drain to, thus reducing property damage. Furthermore, these areas add to the beauty of our town and give an opportunity for wildlife to grow for mutual benefit.

Flood Channel Newsletter Article – What you can do to help prevent flooding.

Map Service Center – To research the floodplain on a specific property, follow the link provided.

USGS Real-time Water Data – This station maintained in cooperation with the Edwards Aquifer Authority.

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