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Special to theNews-Standard
After meeting to review public input and approve final plan revisions in November, the Trinity Regional Flood Planning Group has now submitted the first-ever Regional Flood Plan for the Trinity River Basin to the Texas Water Development Board.
The Trinity Regional Flood Plan draws on the best available science, data, models and flood risk mapping to recommend more than $1 billion in flood mitigation actions designed to fix local flooding issues and reduce flood-related loss of lives, property and livelihoods throughout the region.
The full 2023 Trinity Regional Flood Plan can be found on the Planning Documents page of the Trinity RFPG website (trinityrfpg.org), using the Categories tool to sort by “2023 Final Plan.”
“It’s hard to believe that just two years ago, we were beginning this important, novel regional flood planning process not only here in the Trinity River Basin but also across the entire state, and now here we are with the first-ever regional plan,” said Glenn Clingenpeel, chair of the Trinity RFPG. “While the adoption of this Regional Flood Plan is something our local communities should be both proud of and excited about, there is still much work to be done. As we progress toward adoption of the first-ever State Flood Plan in 2024, we continue to encourage submission of other potential flooding solutions to the Planning Group so we can enhance our plan over the coming months.”
Potential Flood Mitigation Project sponsors from across the Trinity River Basin still have until Friday to submit project data for potential inclusion in the Amended Regional Flood Plan, which will be delivered to the TWDB in July 2023. This will be the last major opportunity for Regional Flood Plan enhancements before the next five-year planning cycle.
All FMPs included in the Amended Regional Plan and the 2024 State Flood Plan could be eligible for possible state funding in the near future.
All proposed project submissions will be grouped into tiers, based on certain criteria. Please note that essentially all projects classified as Tier 1 will be included in the Amended Plan, so long as the sponsor provides FMP data that meets the TWDB Technical Guideline requirements.
After all proposed FMP data has been reviewed, the 2023 Trinity Regional Flood Plan will be amended to include additional flood mitigation solutions according to the tiered approach. The amended plan will be submitted to the TWDB in July.
Based on all the amended regional flood plans, the TWDB will prepare and adopt Texas’ first-ever State Flood Plan and present it to the Texas Legislature in September 2024.
Trinity RFPG is among 15 regional flood planning groups designated in April 2020 by the Texas Water Development Board, as a result of Senate Bill 8, 86th Texas Legislature, which established a groundbreaking, new regional and state flood planning process.
At the same time, the Texas Legislature also created a new flood financial assistance fund and charged the TWDB with administering the fund. The Flood Infrastructure Fund, approved by Texas voters in November 2019, will be used to finance flood-related projects.
After the current, first round of flood planning, each of the regional flood planning groups will update their plans every five years.
The initial members of the Trinity RFPG were designated by the TWDB in 2020. The Planning Group’s membership includes at least one voting member from each of the following interest categories: the public, counties, municipalities, industry, agriculture, environment, small business, electric-generating utilities, river authorities, water districts, water utilities and flood districts. In April 2021, the Trinity RFPG engaged a technical consultant team led by Halff Associates to support its planning effort.
The Trinity RFPG’s planning region (Trinity River Basin or Region 3) has an estimated population of approximately 8 million and spans a nearly 18,000-square mile, 38-county region from Cooke County in the north to Chambers County on the Gulf Coast.