Flood Protection Information (2023)

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Duval County is home to coastal, inland, and river flooding. The most common flooding in the City occurs during the rainy season from June to November. Low lying areas are subject to flooding from rising water. Areas of the County have experienced flooding from tributaries and creeks of the St. Johns River. The most severe of these events occur during hurricanes and tropical storms when houses are damaged from rising water. Flood waters are dangerous, even though they appear to move slowly. A flood two feet deep moving as slow as tree feet per second can knock a man off his feet and float a car.

View realtime stage information on the St. Johns River

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 will be damaged. This web page gives you some ideas of what you can do to protect yourself

City Flood Services

The first thing you should do is to check your flood hazard. Flood maps and flood protection references are available at the Jacksonville Public Library. You can also visit the Development Services Section in room 2100 of the Edward Ball Building to see if you are in a mapped floodplain. If so, they can give you more information such as estimated depths of flooding, past flood problems in the area, and copies of Elevation Certificates on buildings built in the floodplain since 1992. Even if you are not in a floodplain, there still may be some risk of flooding.

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If you have had a flood or sewer (storm or sanitary) backup problem, check out sources of assistance at 630-CITY.

Find Your Flood Zone

For official flood zone determinations or copies of available Elevation Certificates, you can contact:

Development Services Division
214 N. Hogan St., Second Floor
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: (904) 255-8310
Fax: (904) 255-8311

Flood Safety

Do not walk through flowing water.

Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths, mostly during sudden floods. Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you have to walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to ensure that the ground is still there.

Do not drive through a flooded area.

More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Do not drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out.

Stay away from power and electrical wires.

The number two flood killer after drowning is electrocution. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to JEA or the Emergency Operations Center.

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Have your electricity turned off by JEA.

Some appliances, such as televisions 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 yours. Use a pole or stick to poke and turn things over and scare away small animals.

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 slippery.

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.

Floor Insurance

If you don't have flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent. Homeowner insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. However, because Jacksonville participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy. This insurance is backed by the Federal Government and is available to everyone, even for properties that have been flooded.

Some people have purchased flood insurance because it was required by the bank when they got a mortgage or home improvement loan. Usually these policies cover the building's structure but not its contents. During the type of flooding that may happen in Jacksonville, there is usually more damage to the furniture and contents than there is to the structure.

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If you have a flood insurance policy in Jacksonville, double check that the building coverage is adequate and make sure you have contents coverage. Flood insurance covers all surface floods. Remember, even if the last flooding conditions missed you or you have done some flood-proofing, the next flooding could be worse.

Don't wait for the next flood to buy insurance protection. There is a 30-day waiting period before National Flood Insurance Program coverage takes effect. Contact your insurance agent for more information on rates and coverage.

Property Protection Measures

Every year flooding causes more property damage in the United States than any other natural disaster. While recent construction practices and regulations have made new homes less prone to flooding, many existing structures remain susceptible. Throughout the County there is a growing interest from property owners to develop practical and cost effective methods for reducing or eliminating exposures to flooding. Several effective ways include acquisition and relocation of a building to a site not subject to flooding; construction of a levee, reservoir or dam to keep water away from the property; or retrofitting. Retrofitting is a different approach from other ways because the property itself remains subject to flooding when the building is modified to prevent or minimize flooding of habitable space.

There are several approaches to retrofitting: elevation, wet flood-proofing, dry flood-proofing, relocation, levees and floodwalls, and demolition.

In the event of pending flood threats it is always advisable to take the following emergency actions:

  • Sand-bag to reduce erosion and scouring
  • Elevate furniture above flood protection levels
  • Seal off sewer lines in the dwelling to prevent the backflow of sewer waters

Natural and Beneficial Function

Wetland areas and buffers adjacent to streams help reduce flood damage. The flood waters in a natural floodplain are allowed to spread over a large area. This reduces flood velocities and provides flood storage to reduce peak flows downstream. Natural floodplains not only reduce peak flows downstream, but its vegetation stabilizes soils during flooding, reduces erosion upstream and sedimentation downstream, and acts as a filter to improve water quality. It is everyone's job to help preserve natural areas in the floodplain. This can be done by avoiding construction in the floodplain and providing as large a buffer as possible next to the floodplain.

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Flood Warning System

The most serious threat of general flooding is during the hurricane season (June through November). Residents should tune to TV and radio weather broadcasts and stay alert to special advisories.

These local radio and TV stations will broadcast warnings and information for our area:

AM/ FM Radio

WOKV (690AM/106.5FM)WJCT (89.9FM)WEJZ (96.1FM)
WQIK (99.1FM)WMUV (100.7FM)WSOL (101.5FM)
WMXQ (102.9FM)WFYV (104.5FM)WHJZ (105.7FM)

WFKS (97.9FM)
(Neptune Beach)

NOAA weather radio frequencies (MHz), 24 hours a day
162.400, 162.425, 162.450, 162.475, 162.500, 162.525, 162.550



Floodplain Development

All properties located within the Special Floodplain Hazard Area designated on the community's Flood Insurance Rate Map are subject to state and local regulations. Before undertaking development, a builder must secure the necessary permits from the Building Inspection Division on the second floor of the Edward Ball Building. Development activities include reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other activities.

  • Always check with the Building Inspection Division before you build, alter, re-grade, or fill on your property. A permit may be needed to ensure that projects do not cause problems on other properties.
  • If you see building or filling without a City permit posted, contact the City at 630-CITY.
  • Check out information on flood-proofing, flood insurance, and flood safety.

Substantial Improvements

It is also required that all substantial improvements to a building be treated as a new building. A substantial improvement is when the value of an addition, alteration, repair or reconstruction project exceeds 50% of the value of the existing building. In the case of an addition, only the addition must be protected. In the case of an improvement to the original building, the entire building must be protected according to NFIP standards.

Stream Maintenance

Do not dump or throw anything into the ditches or streams. When this happens, flooding occurs more frequently and reaches a higher elevation, subjecting properties otherwise protected to unnecessary risk of damage. If you see dumping or debris in the ditches or streams, contact the City of Jacksonville at 630-CITY.

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Keep everything out of storm drains except for the rainwater runoff that they are designed to collect.

Do not put anything down a storm drain that you would not want to drink or swim in!



How can we protect from floods? ›

What to do During a Flood Warning or Flash Flood Warning
  1. Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
  2. Continue to check the media for emergency information.
  3. Follow instructions from public safety officials. ...
  4. If you must evacuate your home, take only essential items and bring your pets if safe to do so.

What are the different types of flood protection? ›

Dams, dikes, levees, and water barriers are all methods of flood protection. These flood protection systems are similar, but can be used in different scenarios.

What does the flood insurance information packet contain? ›

Your flood information packet will include information on when to renew and how to contact your insurance agent. Learn more about how to renew your policy. The purpose of the form is to let policyholders know that the information in the packet is important and should be reviewed and retained.

What are 3 amazing facts about floods? ›

Ninety percent of all natural disasters in- volve flooding. Floods can bring walls of water 20 feet or higher. Just 1 inch of flood water can cause $27,000 in damage to your home. If you live in a 100-year floodplain, there's more than a 1 in 4 chance you'll be flooded during a 30-year mortgage.

What is the purpose of flood protection? ›

Flood control structures are designed to protect coastal and river-bank areas, including urban and agricultural communities, homes, and other economically valuable areas, and the people located within them.

Why is flood protection necessary? ›

Flood control is a necessary precautionary measure to ensure that the damages caused by flooding are kept at to the bare minimum. Moreover, they prevent any development or urbanization into unsafe floodplains and protect the lives and property of those who reside in floodplains.

What is the most effective flood Defence? ›

While sand bags are a popular flood defence method, one of the most effective measures individuals, businesses and communities can take is to use multiple JACKBOX units to divert flood water away from properties.

What is the difference between FEMA and NFIP? ›

The National Flood Insurance Program provides insurance to help reduce the socio-economic impact of floods. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is managed by the FEMA and is delivered to the public by a network of more than 50 insurance companies and the NFIP Direct.

What is generally included in a standard flood insurance policy? ›

A Standard Flood Insurance Policy is a single-peril (flood) policy that pays for direct physical damage to your insured property up to the replacement cost or Actual Cash Value (ACV) (See “How Flood Damages Are Valued”) of the actual damages or the policy limit of liability, whichever is less.

What is flood full information? ›

Floods are the most frequent type of natural disaster and occur when an overflow of water submerges land that is usually dry. Floods are often caused by heavy rainfall, rapid snowmelt or a storm surge from a tropical cyclone or tsunami in coastal areas.

What is the first rule of flood safety *? ›

Evacuate immediately, if you think you are at risk or are advised to do so! Act quickly. Save yourself, not your belongings. Move to a safe area before access is cut off by rising water.

Do and don'ts during flood? ›

Don't eat any food that has come into contact with flood water. Don't reconnect your power supply until a qualified engineer has checked it. Be alert for gas leaks – do not smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames. Never turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet.

Where do floods happen the most? ›

Areas most susceptible to flash flooding are mountainous streams and rivers, urban areas, low-lying area, storm drains, and culverts.

How does flood impact the environment? ›

The negative effects of floodwaters on coastal marine environments are mainly due to the introduction of excess sediment and nutrients, and pollutants such as chemicals, heavy metals and debris. These can degrade aquatic habitats, lower water quality, reduce coastal production, and contaminate coastal food resources.

Who is responsible for flood? ›

Deforestation: Deforestation is one of the major human causes of floods. Trees act like a sponge that helps to hold soil and water and prevent flooding. As trees are being cut down at a fast pace to make way for urbanisation to grow, more water runs towards a river during heavy rainfall. As a result, a flood occurs.

What can cause a flood? ›

Flooding typically occurs when prolonged rain falls over several days, when intense rain falls over a short period of time, or when an ice or debris jam causes a river or stream to overflow onto the surrounding area. Flooding can also result from the failure of a water control structure, such as a levee or dam.

How do floods impact humans? ›

Loss of human life. Property and infrastructure damage. Road closures, erosion, and landslide risks. Crop destruction and livestock loss.

How much damage do floods cause? ›

Impacts of flooding

In the U.S., losses average close to $8 billion a year. Death tolls have increased in recent decades to more than 100 people a year.

What are the 10 effects of flood? ›

Loss of lives and property: Immediate impacts of flooding include loss of human life, damage to property, destruction of crops, loss of livestock, non-functioning of infrastructure facilities and deterioration of health condition owing to waterborne diseases.

What are the 3 most common floods? ›

There are three types of floods- flash floods, river floods, and coastal floods.

What kind of hazard is flood? ›

Floods are in essence a multi-hazard phenomenon, as their trigger (e.g. storm) frequently brings along compound effects (e.g. combined riverine flood and storm surge in coastal areas), coupled effects (e.g. diffuse landslides during high-intensity precipitation events), amplification effects, disposition alteration and ...

What are the three methods of flood control? ›

What are the methods of flood control? Planting vegetation to retain excess water, terrace slopes to reduce slope flow, and building alluviums (man-made channels to divert water from flooding), construction of dykes, dams, reservoirs or holding tanks to store extra water during flood periods.

What is a risk in flood? ›

If the probability of a major flood is high and the consequences are severe you speak of a “high” risk. For instance when a flood would cause many victims and there would be a lot of damage. If the probability of a flood is small and the consequences are too small then the risk is also “small”.

What is the most flood insurance you can get? ›

The limit for contents coverage on all residential buildings is $100,000, which is also available to renters. Commercial structures can be insured to a limit of $500,000 for the building and $500,000 for the contents. MYTH: You can't buy flood insurance if your property has been flooded.

What states are approved by FEMA? ›

As of Dec. 31, 2022, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories including American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands*, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands have approved mitigation plans.

Does insurance cover flood damage? ›

Yes, home insurance includes cover for loss and damage caused by flood to both your building and contents.

What structures are not covered by flood insurance? ›

Property and belongings outside of an insured building, such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs, and swimming pools.

Which of the following property items is not covered by flood insurance? ›

As with all insurance policies, there is a list of exclusions that apply to flood insurance. Currency, precious metals and any valuable paperwork are generally not covered by policies. Most self-propelled vehicles, including cars, are not covered either.

Why doesn't homeowners insurance cover flooding? ›

Water damage caused by flooding is not covered by homeowners or renters policies because it is considered a gradual event rather than sudden or accidental. As a rule of thumb, if the water first touches the ground before entering your home, it is considered flood damage.

What is flood causes and effects? ›

What are the Effects of Flood? A flood happens when water from a river , lake , or ocean overflows onto the land around it . Too much rain or melting snow are the main causes of floods . Sometimes the soil in the ground can make a flood worse. This is because when rain falls, the soil usually soaks it up like a sponge.

What is flood explain in 100 words? ›

Paragraph on Flood in 100 Words

A flood is a condition when an area is fully or partially submerged in water for a period of time due to man-made or natural causes. The natural reasons behind floods can be heavy and continuous rain for an extended time period.

What are the 5 main causes of flooding? ›

It's mostly caused by heavy rainfall, but can also be caused by king tides, storm surge, snowmelt and dam releases.

What are positive facts about floods? ›

Naturally frequent flooding makes floodplains the “lifeblood” to surrounding areas. They provide clean water and wildlife habitat among many other benefits including one of the most visible functions, the ability to store large volumes of flood water and slowly release these waters over time.

What factors increase flood risk? ›

Flooding can occur from the natural processes of heavy rain, tidal surges and raised groundwater levels, among others. It can also result from interference with the natural drainage processes, such as changes to river channels, increased run-off from land or blocked sewerage systems and culverts.

What was America's worst flood? ›

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States, with 27,000 square miles (70,000 km2) inundated in depths of up to 30 feet (9 m) over the course of several months in early 1927.

What states flood the most? ›

As of 2021, Louisiana had registered the most NFIP claims in that time – accounting for almost 20% overall – the majority of which came from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the largest payout in the history of the program by more than a factor of two.

What was the USA worst floods? ›

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 is known as the worst flood in U.S. history. Over 27,000 square miles flooded, which caused 246 deaths.

Where do floods hit the most? ›

Areas most susceptible to flash flooding are mountainous streams and rivers, urban areas, low-lying area, storm drains, and culverts.

What are the 4 stages of a flood? ›

Once a river reaches flood stage, the flood severity categories used by the River Forecast Centers include minor flooding, moderate flooding, and major flooding. Each category has a definition based on property damage and public threat.

What are 5 consequences of floods? ›

The study established that floods impacted on people's socio-economic livelihoods and critical aspects such as agriculture, health, education, housing, water and sanitation and property and assets.

Why should we prevent floods? ›

Flooding causes many impacts. They damage property and endanger the lives of humans and other living things. Rapid water runoff causes soil erosion and concomitant deposition of sediment at various locations, as well as fish spawning sites and other wildlife habitats, which may become polluted or completely destroyed.

Why should we care about floods? ›

A flood can cause widespread devastation, resulting in many deaths and damages to public health infrastructure and personal property. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between 1998 and 2017, floods affected more than two billion people around the world.


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