According to the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), over 32% of the buildings in the City of Pompano Beach are in a SFHA. The entire City can be potentially considered flood prone. There are several types of flooding that occur, and there are many factors that affect the type and severity of a flood. As land is paved and otherwise developed, it loses its ability to absorb rainfall. Urbanization increases runoff two to six times over what would occur on natural terrain. The following are some of the more common types of flooding experienced in South Florida, including the City of Pompano Beach:
Canal Flooding Some flooding occurs seasonally when rain fills canals with too much water too quickly due to heavy rain. The Pompano Canal and Cypress Creek Canal both have large drainage basins which include cities other than Pompano Beach. Stormwater from these upstream communities eventually empties into the Intracoastal Waterway through these canals. The water levels within these canals gradually rise during the storm event, which limits the ability of the City’s stormwater system to discharge into the canals. The cumulative impact of stormwater from the upstream communities can increase the likelihood of flooding in the City of Pompano Beach due to higher water levels in these canals.
Tidal Flooding Many waterways within the City of Pompano Beach are influenced by tidal fluctuations, which contribute to flooding problems. When a heavy rainfall occurs at the same time as high tide, the outgoing flow from the City’s stormwater system can be reduced by the higher water levels within the tidal waterway. The bulk of the City’s storm drainage system flows into lakes and canals, which are interconnected with tidal waterways and intracoastal waterways such as the Pompano Canal and the Cypress Creek Canal. This bulk flow increases the likelihood of flood conditions in our streets, swale areas, and lawns due to high tides.
Severe Weather Flooding A flood event is usually triggered by a large, sudden downpour of rainfall, which can occur during significant storm events such as hurricanes, tropical storms, or tropical depressions. The severe weather flooding occurs when the rain falls too quickly for the stormwater systems and canals to handle the significant amount of runoff flow. Flooding can occur as the stormwater system backs up until the severe weather clears the region. The effects of the downpour are worsened when terrain will not absorb water due to the saturation of the ground by heavy rainfall.
Coastal Flooding The risk of flooding within the City of Pompano Beach can be increased by the presence of higher water levels within the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway due to storm surge. In general, properties located east of State Road A1A within the City have been designated as a coastal zone and encounter greater flood risk due to waves and storm surge during a significant storm event. Storm Surge is a rise in the sea level that occurs during tropical storms or hurricanes. The storms produce strong winds that push the water onto shore, which can lead to flooding along the coast. Storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property, and it doesn't always occur at the same time or location as the storm's hazardous winds. Click here for more information about storm surge.
Sea Level Rise
The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact was executed by Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach Counties in January 2010 to coordinate climate mitigation and adaptation activities across county lines. The City of Pompano Beach is a Municipal Partner of the Compact. To learn more, go the Compact’s website at http://www.southeastfloridaclimatecompact.org/contact-us/.
Constant water flow through canals, especially during heavy storms, is essential to flood damage protection in the City. Gutters, storm drain pipes, lakes, wetlands, swales, and canals should be kept free of debris so that the water can flow freely. City and State laws prohibit dumping trash in waterways. It is a violation of our City ordinances to dump debris of any sort, including grass clippings, into canals, storm drains, and any waterways. Please report violators to the Public Works Department by calling 954.786.4637.
Proper drainage system management in our City helps reduce the risk of flooding. The City’s Stormwater Utility Staff is responsible for operation and maintenance of the stormwater system. The Utilities Division inspects the drainage system and removes blockages that are found or reported. You can help keep swale areas and catch basins clear by not piling debris on top of, or nearby any drainage inlets. The City of Pompano Beach has several stormwater system managers, including the City, Broward County, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and private property owners. All privately owned stormwater management facilities are required to be maintained by the owners.
• Please keep in mind that it is everyone’s responsibility to insure that our waterways are kept clean.
• Oils, lawn clippings and other substances should never be put down a storm drain.
• If you see someone improperly disposing of waste into the storm drain system or waterways, or any other illicit discharge, please report it to the Public Works Department at 954.786.4637.
You can download the City’s Stormwater Master Plan by clicking on the following links:
* These files are large and will take some time to download.
Flood Warning System
The City of Pompano Beach and Broward County depend on the National Weather Service (NWS) for impending flood notification. The NWS will issue flood advisories at least six (6) hours prior to expected heavy rainfall and possible flooding. The City has a city-wide flood warning plan to provide early warning to neighborhoods that might experience exceptional flooding. Broadcast methods of emergency notices include Comcast Government Access channel 78. Watch The Weather Channel and have extra batteries on hand for a weather radio.
Click here for a list of TV and Radio simulcasts in the County.
The City of Pompano Beach also utilizes the CodeRED Emergency Notification system, which allows the City to notify any geographical area, or any predetermined “target buildings” via telephone, of an impending emergency. All residents and businesses must keep the City informed of current telephone numbers for the CodeRED System. Sign up now to receive emergency notifications for your family or your business. Registration online is simple, quick, and free. Just follow the instructions by clicking here.
Obey evacuation orders from officials. Evacuation orders are issued for imminent storm surge, not wind. Click here to find your evacuation route and zone. Broward County Shelter information is also provided.
Vulnerable Population Registry The Vulnerable Population Registry was designed as a joint partnership between cities and Broward County. The registry allows people who are disabled, frail or have health issues to register in advance so that emergency workers may plan a better response to vulnerable residents in a recovery effort following a hurricane or other emergency. Registering should not be considered as a guarantee that you will be provided services or be placed on a priority list for emergency responders; however, it will help us to be better prepared to respond after a disaster. To register visit www.broward.org/atrisk , dial 3-1-1 or call 954.831.4000.
- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to Florida Power & Light at 1.800.468.8243 or to the Broward Sheriff’s Office at 954.786.4200.
- In the event of an approaching severe storm event, have your electricity and other utilities, including gas, turned off. Some appliances such as television sets, hold electrical charges even after they have been unplugged. Avoid using appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned and dried. If you are advised to evacuate, turn off utilities at the main switches or valves and disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch any electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Be alert for gas leaks. If you use natural gas, use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don’t smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you are an expert and know that the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated. Gas leaks can be reported to TECO Peoples Gas at 1.877.832.6747.
- Do not walk through flowing waters. Currents can be deceptive. As little as six inches of moving water can cause you to lose your balance. If you must walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to ensure that the ground is stable and level before walking on it.
- Do not drive through flooded roadways. Roads may not be distinguishable from canals or ponds. The depth of water is not always obvious. The road bed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped.
- Do not drive around a road barricade. Barricades are there for your protection as the road may be washed out or severely affected. Driving through flooded areas will not only damage your vehicle but will cause a wake forcing water into homes and businesses and causing damage.
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will float many vehicles.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-up trucks.
- Do not try to take short cuts. They may be blocked. Stick to designated evacuation routes.
- Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
- Place important documents and medications inside plastic bags or other waterproof containers.
- Look out for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours.
- 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 very slippery.
As a boat owner, you should plan in advance to move your boat or arrange for its storage. Check with a local marina for suitable alternatives and advice.
- If possible, store it inside a garage or warehouse.
- If you must leave it outside, anchor the trailer firmly into stable soil, deflate the tires and ensure the boat is secure to the trailer. If possible, fill the bilge with water, which adds extra weight.
- If you plan to keep your boat in a canal, be sure to double the dock lines, leaving sufficient space for the tidal range, and put out extra anchors. Don’t forget to remove all marine electronics or other unsecured equipment.
- Sail boaters should remove self-furling sails and Bimini tops.
- Boats on davits should be preferably stored in an enclosed facility (dry dock or garage) or secured with extra tie lines to keep the boat from swinging during high winds.
Share the actions you’ve taken to be prepared with your family and friends by posting your story on your social media site.
- Everyone in Florida should purchase a flood insurance policy to protect their building and/or its contents, whether in a SFHA or not!
- Most homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies do not cover property losses due to rising flood waters.
- The City of Pompano Beach participates in the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System program, which provides a discount on all flood insurance policies.
- Call your insurance agent today to purchase flood insurance. If you don’t have an agent, visit FloodSmart.gov, or call 1.800.427.4661 for help. The City is also available to assist at 954.545.7780.
- Residents, businesses owners, and renters can purchase separate flood insurance coverage for the building structure and for the contents of a building. Contents coverage insures most of your personal property and belongings.
- You are eligible to purchase flood insurance even if your property has flooded several times in the past.
- Most mortgage lenders require flood insurance for properties in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). All properties secured by a federally backed mortgage (FHA, VA, FNMA, etc.) must carry flood insurance.
- It’s important to buy flood insurance before flooding is imminent as there is usually a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect.
- Lower cost policies are available for properties that are not located in a Special Flood Hazard Area. In high risk areas such as southern Florida, there is a 26% chance that a home will experience a flood over the course of a 30-year mortgage.
As part of our stormwater outreach process we are asking customers to aid us by filling out this form. By reporting stormwater related issues, we can better direct our stormwater response and construction program in the future. Thank you for your assistance.
Download Questionnaire - Stormwater Public Outreach on Flooding due to Rainfall
Because your home is susceptible to flooding, retrofitting your property should be considered to alleviate the impact of any potential flooding. As a homeowner, you need clear information about the options that are available to reduce flood damage to your home – and straightforward guidance on selecting the option that is best for you. Quite often this is a difficult task. The publication described here is for readers who have little or no knowledge of flood protection methods or building construction techniques.
- Retrofitting means making changes to an existing building to protect it from flooding or other hazards such as high winds and earthquakes. FEMA publication 312, Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting: Six Ways To Protect Your House From Flooding, provides information that will help you decide whether your house is a candidate for retrofitting. The guide helps by describing six retrofitting methods that protect your house from flooding. You can download FEMA 312, or parts of it, from FEMA’s web site at https://www.fema.gov/homeowners-guide-retrofitting, or call 1-800-480-2520.
- “Flood proofing” means making physical alterations to a building that improves the ability of a structure to withstand the damages that could be caused by flooding. Dry flood proofing includes sealing or waterproofing with special materials and compounds which provide a chemical or physical barrier against water intrusion during times of flooding.
All development (new construction, additions, renovations, alterations to properties, etc.) and some flood protection methods require a construction permit so always call the Building Division before making any alterations to your property at 954.786.4670. If you see a project that does not have a permit sign, please contact the Building Division to report the possible violation. Staff can offer suggestions and visit your site to offer property protection advice.
There are practical and cost effective methods for reducing or eliminating your property’s exposure to flooding:
- Construction of a small flood wall or earthen berm, or redirecting drainage to keep water away from the building is an example of property protection.
- If flooding is likely, and time permits, move essential items and furniture to upper areas of your home.
- Electrical panel boxes, A/C condensing units, hot water heaters, and other appliances should be elevated above the flood level.
- Check your building for water entry points such as doors, low windows, and dryer vents. Block these entry points to prevent water intrusion.
- Place sandbags in strategic places around your property. Sandbags can slow down and divert flood waters.
- Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency waterproofing.
Search the Broward County Public Library catalog for “Flood” and “FEMA”, and go to FEMA’s website www.ready.gov/floods for more property protection information.
A Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant may be available to assist residents in retrofitting their homes. For more information contact Karen Santen, City of Pompano Beach Grant Coordinator, at 954.786.4926, or go to FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance.
The NFIP and the Florida Building Code require the entire building to conform to the requirements for a new building when building repairs or alterations exceed 49 percent of the building's market value. All applicable building permit applications must conform to this requirement when submitted to the Building Department. The requirement may also apply if a building is substantially damaged due to flooding.
City Of Pompano Beach Flood Ordinance Requirements
The City of Pompano Beach Flood Ordinance 152.29 (C) requires higher standards for the finished floor elevation for new construction and substantial improvements. Developers should consider this prior to development and permitting. Information regarding this ordinance or any flood related issues can be obtained from the Building Division located on the 3rd floor of City Hall at 100 West Atlantic Boulevard, Pompano Beach, Florida 33060.
Flood Hazard Map
The City's Engineering Department has prepared a Flood Criteria Map identifying flood zones for all properties in the city; it determines the flood hazard associated with any parcel in the city. The map is located in the Building Department at City Hall.
Everyone should know their flood zone! Call the City Building Division at 954.786.4670 to find out:
- If a building is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area or not,
- If a property is subject to erosion,
- If the site area has local drainage problems, especially during heavy rain storms.
- If the property is in an area that has had flood insurance claims filed repeatedly.
- If there is an elevation certificate on file for a building.
- To access the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for the City.
Type in an address on the flood zone map to determine the flood zone in which it is located.
Natural and Beneficial Functions of Floodplains
Natural areas of the City provide a beneficial function by reducing the potential severity of flooding. These natural areas typically collect and retain stormwater runoff during rainfall events and allow for the infiltration of stormwater into the natural ground surface, which can reduce the flooding levels within the developed areas of the City. Open and natural areas absorb much more rain and floodwaters than urbanized areas.
These natural areas also enhance the water quality of stormwater runoff by filtering through the ground. Wetland plants, such as mangrove trees, filter stormwater runoff, making it cleaner.
Natural areas can also be beneficial in their ability to recharge the Biscayne Aquifer and replenish the City’s potable water supply.
Sand dunes on the beach are nature’s protection against inland flooding from waves, high tides, and storm surge accompanying major storms. Beach revegetation is an ongoing process in the City of Pompano Beach. In both Broward County and the City of Pompano Beach, there are many policies intended to protect coastal resources that could decrease the risk from storm surge and flooding.
It is everyone’s responsibility to protect these natural areas and keep them clean!
To learn more, go to the Broward County Public Library catalog, and search for “Protecting Floodplain Resources: A Guidebook for Communities”.
For More Information
- Go to the Broward County Emergency Management Department website at www.Broward.org/Emergency or call 954.831.4000.
- Twitter: @mypompanobeach
- Facebook: Pompano Beach City Hall
- The Broward County Public Library has many flood-related documents in its catalog. Search the catalog for “flood” and “FEMA”.