The Sunshine State isn’t always sunny. When it rains in Florida, it pours. Due to the low-lying elevations of the Florida Keys, residents need to be aware of potential flooding that may occur. Heavy rains, tropical storms, and hurricanes have all affected Florida in recent years. 

  • 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.
  • Call your insurance agent to discuss your flood insurance coverage. Visit www.floodsmart.gov or
    call (888) 379-9531 to find out more about who writes flood insurance in your area.
  • Monroe County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), 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. Monroe County also participates in the Community Rating System, which has garnered 25 percent discounts for residential NFIP plans in unincorporated Monroe County.
  • Because of low elevations, specifically affected areas would be inundated by water during major storms. The Monroe County Planning and Environmental Resources Department provides the following services: information about flood hazards, map determinations, base flood elevations, and reference materials on flood protection. 
  • Know your flood zone: www.monroecounty-fl.gov/floodzone.

Flooding is One of Florida’s Most Frequent Hazards 

Hurricane Wilma 2005 Storm Surge

Sunshine State isn’t always sunny. When it rains in Florida, it pours. Heavy rains, tropical storms, and hurricanes have all affected Florida in 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.

Consider Permanent Flood Protection Measures

  • Elevate your home or place of business above flood levels
  • Place your mechanical equipment above flood levels
  • Install flood openings to equalize the pressure of flood waters
  • And always check with a floodplain official before planning a construction project

Before Flooding Occurs

  • If you do not have an NOAA Weather Radio to monitor severe weather, stay tuned to local radio stations or television stations.
  • 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.
  • Shut off electricity and gas to your home or business
  • Remove furniture and valuables from lower enclosures
  • 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 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.