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 (MSL).
  • Flood Damage is not covered by your homeowner’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

Heavy Rains

Hurricanes, tropical storms, and summer thunderstorms, have the potential to unload heavy rainfall, which backs up drainage systems and causes flooding.

Storm Surge

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

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 Flooding 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 Flooding 

  • Avoid areas prone to sudden flooding.
  • Stay on firm ground. Just six 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 downed power lines.
  • Do not allow children to play in the flooded areas or channels.
  • Seek 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: