Get the Facts on Flooding
Due to the low-lying elevation of the Florida Keys, Monroe County residents need to be aware of potential flooding that may occur during a tropical storm:
- All of Monroe County is located in a floodplain.
- Base flood elevations range from 6 to 17 feet above mean sea level.
- Flood damage is not covered by your home owner’s insurance.
- Monroe County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, which is a federally subsidized program that enables property owners to purchase flood insurance in return for community adoption of specific flood damage reduction planning and building criteria.
- Because of low elevations, specifically affected areas would be inundated by water during major storms. The Monroe County Growth Management Division provides the following services: information about flood hazards, map determinations, base flood elevations and reference materials on flood protection.
Flooding is One of Florida's Most Frequent Hazards
Sunshine State isn’t always sunny. When it rains in Florida, it pours. Heavy rains, tropical storms, and hurricanes have all affected Florida in the recent years.
Hurricanes, tropical storms, and summer thunderstorms, have the potential to unload heavy rainfall, which backs up drainage systems and causes flooding.
Water that is pushed toward the shore by the strong storm winds, can cause severe flooding in coastal areas. Hurricane Wilma (2005) caused significant damage in the Keys.
Flash flooding is caused by sudden heavy rainfall and can occur in just a few hours or less. Moving water from flash floods can lift rocks and debris and damage homes and buildings.
Before a Flood Occurs
- If you do not have a NOAA Weather Radio to monitor severe weather, stay tuned to local radio stations of television stations.
- Know the early warning systems in Monroe County.
- Learn the warning terms:
- Flash Flood Watch or Flood Watch means to be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moment’s notice.
- Flash Flood Warning means flooding has been reported or is imminent. Take the necessary precautions at once.
- Create an evacuation plan.
During a Flood
- Avoid areas to sudden flooding.
- Stay on firm ground; 6 inches of rapid running water can sweep you off your feet.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground if possible.
- Never attempt to move a stalled vehicle in flood conditions. It can be fatal.
- Avoid down power lines.
- Do not allow children to play in the flooded areas or channels.
- Listen to local radio and television stations for emergency advisories and instructions.
- If you have to leave your property, disconnect all electrical appliances.
- Never leave your pet tied up.
For more information, view the following brochures:
Additional Information from the State Emergency Management officials can be found in our Document Center as well.