Nutria Trapping

Nutria (Myocastor coypus)

Over the past year, the LID 15 Board of Directors has addressed ongoing maintenance issues caused by nutria which are considered an invasive species. Generally, there are two effective options for controlling the nutria population – trapping and poison. The Board chose trapping which began last summer and continued through November 2020.  Trapping was stopped during the dormant winter season but has resumed since April 2021.

Humane traps are being used that do not harm the animals. The trapping company will check the cages weekly and release the nutria into areas where they cannot damage the levees or preserved wetlands areas within LID 15, or other neighboring communities.

Nutria are more than a nuisance animal, as their burrows can cause stability issues with the levee. They also consume and destroy valuable wetlands vegetation that LID 15 is legally required to maintain under federal law. The Board chose to treat the animals humanely, but due to potential risks to the levee, wetlands, and public health and safety, they must be removed from the area.

In the past, nutria traps have been tampered with, stolen, and broken. The cost to replace the traps, as well as the additional labor involved with the extended trapping, results in additional costs to LID 15 taxpayers. The District requests residents help by leaving the traps in place to ensure the integrity of the LID facilities and to minimize the cost to taxpayers. If you see anyone interfering with traps, please feel free to report it on the LID 15 website. Thank you for your understanding and consideration.

Flood Insurance Rates Changes – NFIP Risk Rating 2.0

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may soon change how flood insurance rates are calculated for your home and property.  The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is attempting to make flood insurance rates more equitable through an initiative called Risk Rating 2.0.  While LID 15 has no control over FEMA and the NFIP, LID 15 is a FEMA-accredited levee system.  So, residents currently receive a “Preferred Rate” for flood insurance which typically costs less than $600 per year.  If Risk Rating 2.0 becomes effective and is implemented by FEMA, the existing “Preferred Rate” will remain available through September, but on October 1, 2021, all new NFIP flood policies will be issued under the new pricing structure.  Information provided by FEMA states that 23% of all policies will see an immediate decrease and 66% of policies will see a cost increase of less than $120 per year.  As existing “Preferred Rate” policies expire, the cost will escalate up to 18% each year until the premium reaches the new Risk Rating 2.0 rate.

FEMA has not finalized how Risk Rating 2.0 will calculate new flood insurance rates for homes inside a levee like LID 15.  It is possible that Risk Rating 2.0 may be delayed.  Please know that LID 15 is monitoring information released by FEMA and will provide updates to residents.  LID 15 is also working with Fort Bend County and the City of Sugar Land to monitor these upcoming flood insurance changes and how they may impact the community.  LID 15 encourages all residents to consult their insurance agent regarding flood insurance options; there is typically a 30-day wait period for flood insurance to become effective after purchase.  For additional information check out, the official website of the NFIP.

I live inside the FBCLID 15 levee.  Should I consider buying flood insurance?

Yes! Many property owners may be unaware that standard private home insurance policies do not cover losses caused by rising flood waters.  The common example of rising flood waters in Fort Bend County is created by the Brazos River and LID 15 was created to reduce that threat.  However, very strong, localized rainfall can cause street ponding and reach into homes regardless of the Brazos River.  While not a common occurrence, localized rainfall of 12+ inches in a day has occurred.  Hurricane Harvey produced more than 30 inches of rain in Sugar Land and more than 50 inches in parts of Harris County.  The 2016 Tax Day storm produced more than a foot of rainfall in portions of Harris County, and in 2001 Tropical Storm Allison produced 40 inches of precipitation in parts of Southeast Texas.  Damage caused to your home by such an event is not included in a standard home insurance policy; however, such damage is covered by standard flood insurance policies.

LID 15 Mowing Delays

Mowing of the LID 15 levees, bayous, and drainage corridors has been severely delayed over the past two months.

The consistent, above-average rainfall has saturated the ground and created maintenance and safety challenges for the mowing contractor.  Unlike most infrastructure, the levees and drainage corridors are made of dirt and grass instead of concrete and steel.  LID 15 must be very cautious with maintenance activities that can create additional damage to these flood control assets.  Mowing in wet conditions with tractors can create ruts and cause other damage that impacts the integrity of the levees and blocks drainage in the ditches and swales.

The mowing contractor has started addressing the worst areas using string-trimmers and smaller mowers.  The tractors typically used in LID 15 are currently scheduled to start a complete mowing cycle over the weekend.