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Learn how to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of a flood. Download our latest Flood Guide.

Flood Guide Cover

Check today’s tide table or search the historical record through NOAA’s Tides & Currents website.NOAA Tides & Currents

Floodplain Management

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Flooding is a natural phenomenon that occurs when water overflows or inundates land that is normally dry. In Fort Lauderdale, we experience flooding from excessive rain and runoff overwhelming existing drainage systems, rivers and canals overflowing their banks or seawalls, storm surge, and also tidal flooding from unusually high tides.

Why is there flooding? What are the different types of flooding? Can floods be beneficial? What are the risks? What can be done to prevent floods?  How can you be prepared?   This section of our website provides you with detailed information and answers about living in a flood zone, what we are doing to protect you and your property, and what steps you can take.

  • Flooding & Flood Mitigation – Build your understanding of floodplain and water management, in general and here in the City. See what City planners and engineers are doing to manage the flow of water in, under and around our City.  Find out about swales, storm drains, tidal control valves and other floodplain management tools.  Learn what you can do to help prevent flooding.
  • Flood Zones– Find your flood zone designation and understand what it means.
  • Preparing for Flood – Find everything you need to know to be prepared for the increased likelihood of flooding during hurricane season.

Keep in mind that the management of stormwater and the provision of drinking water are related but separate activities. Please see our section on Natural Resource Protection to learn more about how the City of Fort Lauderdale is protecting our water supply for the future. Remember, you can always call our 24-hour City of Fort Lauderdale Customer Service at (954) 828-8000 for general flood and drainage information, water utility hook-up and rates, as well as for questions about our water quality.

Twice per year, the City distributes flyers to those whose properties are in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) which has been prone to flooding.  Download our latest Flood Information Flyer.  This act of public education is part of City efforts related to the Community Rating System (CRS) maintained by FEMA.  The City earns points for flood prevention actions that result in flood insurance discounts to the community.  We have been designated a Class 6 community which makes Fort Lauderdale property owners and renters eligible for a 20% total discount  off annual premiums

For additional facts about flooding, we recommend the following sites: 

SFWMDSouth Florida Water Management District - Drought and Flood

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) operates and maintains the regional water management system known as the Central and Southern Florida Project, which was authorized by Congress more than 60 years to protect residents and businesses from floods and droughts. This primary system of canals and natural waterways connects to community drainage districts and hundreds of smaller neighborhood systems to effectively manage floodwaters during heavy rain.  As a result of this interconnected drainage system, flood control in South Florida is a shared responsibility between the District, county and city governments, local drainage districts, homeowners associations and residents.  This links to the SFWMD’s special webpage on flood and drought control, two phenomena which need to be managed together.  They also have a particularly informative poster on water management in our area.


NFIPNational Flood Insurance Program

Since standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding, it is important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions.  In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. As a participant community, the City agrees to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding.  Therefore NFIP benefits are available to all residents.  Fort Lauderdale residents are now eligible for a greater discount off their annual flood insurance premiums, as a result of proactive measures undertaken by the City to reduce the local flood hazard.  In recognition of the City’s efforts to enhance flood mitigation and protect life and property, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has designated Fort Lauderdale as a Class 6 community under the Community Rating System (CRS).  As residents of a Class 6 community, property owners and renters who renew or purchase flood insurance policies after May 1, 2013 are eligible for a 20% total discount off annual premiums.  Read about the changes coming to the National Flood Insurance Program as a result of the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014.


readyFederal Emergency Management Administration - Floods

This is FEMA’s specialized webpage on flooding.  You can use this site to find flood hazard maps, learn more about what to do before, during and after a flood, investigate insurance information and even calculate you risk from flooding



FLASHFederal Alliance for Safe Homes - Flood Safety

The non-profit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH®) is a consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters.  Their mission is to promote life safety, property protection and resiliency by empowering the community with knowledge and resources for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and man-made disasters.  This is their webpage on flooding, which includes a tool for learning what flood damage can do inch-by-inch.  You can also use their site to learn about other phenomena that for which Floridians must prepare, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning strikes, and extreme heat.


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