For the majority of the county, the primary causes of flooding are tropical systems and afternoon thunderstorms, which generally occur from June to November, during the rainy season. Certain areas of Seminole County are low-lying and subject to flooding from rising water. Specific areas include the St. Johns River, Lake Harney, and Lake Jesup.
The other flood problem involves storm water runoff that occurs in many locations. This problem has recently become more critical because of development in areas subject to urban flooding. Many homeowners and businesses do not carry flood insurance, which can result in high uninsured losses.
Seminole County has a Comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan (CEOP) that includes a variety of warning systems, outlined below, to provide citizens with up to the minute information on impending storms or flood threats.
The Division of Emergency Management manages a preparedness website (www.prepareseminole.org) centered on disaster preparedness and prevention. Through the Alert Seminole website, registration allows users to be notified during an emergency by immediately sending text messages to your:
Seminole County Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
The following stations serve the Seminole County area:
Seminole Government Television (SGTV) on cable Channel 9
WUCF (89.9) FM at the top of every hour
The Citizens’ Information Line, (CIL) 407-665-0000. CIL operators provide information on evacuation procedures, shelter, water, food, and ice locations, as well as a variety of other information. The CIL operates around the clock during disaster operations.
Seminole County Emergency Operations Plan
When a storm or flood threatens to impact the county, the Emergency Management staff monitor the event. The staff rely on information from the National Weather Service for detailed and site specific information regarding storm conditions and flood threats. Emergency Management staff disseminate watches, warnings, updates and evacuation notices.
Flood Safety Measures
You can protect yourself from flood hazards by taking measures to ensure the safety of life and property before, during and after a flood occurs.
To find out more about flood insurance for your property and its contents, contact your insurance agent. There is usually a 30 day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect, so don’t wait until a storm threatens before you secure the flood insurance you need.
The flowing chart lists the amounts of maximum coverage available to property owners within Seminole County.
|Single Family Dwelling $250,000||Residential $100,000|
|Other Residential $250,000||Non-residential $500,000|
|Non-residential $500,000||Small Business $500,000|
|Small Business $500,000|
Every year, flooding causes more property damage in the United States than any other type of natural disaster. While recent construction practices and regulations have made new homes less prone to flooding, many existing structures remain susceptible. Throughout the country 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 floodwalls or berms to keep water away from the property, or retrofitting structures to make them floodproof. Retrofitting is a different approach from the other ways because the property itself remains subject to flooding while the building is modified to prevent or minimize flooding of habitable space.
There are several recognizable approaches to retrofitting:
When a flood threatens, it is always advisable to take the following emergency actions:
Any development in the floodplain requires a building permit according to the Land Development Code Part 51, Section 30.964.
To inquire about obtaining a floodzone determination or a copy of a FEMA elevation certificate or suspect illegal floodplain development is occurring, call the Seminole County Building Division at 407-665-7335.
Additionally, in accordance with NFIP standards, Seminole County Land Development Code requires if the cost of any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s market value, work is considered a substantial improvement. The existing building is required to meet the same standards as a new building or residential structures, these requirements typically mean raising the living area of the building to 1 foot above base flood elevation.
Substantial improvement shall mean any repair from damage and or destruction, reconstruction, improvement, or additions to the structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of property assessed tax value of the structure as is listed by the Seminole County Property Appraisers Office or by a certified appraisal. The assessed value of the structure shall be determined before the improvement is started, or if the structure has been damaged and is being restored, before the damage or destruction occurred.
A community can lose a portion of its drainage system capacity or storage capacity due to dumping, debris, soil erosion, sedimentation, and overgrowth of vegetation. When this happens, flooding occurs more frequently and reaches higher elevations, subjecting properties otherwise protected from unnecessary risk of damage. Keep grass clippings and clear debris out of Stormwater drainage systems to prevent clogging and lost of Stormwater storage and treatment capacity. Per Land Development Code Appendix B county ordinance, it is illegal to dump trash and debris into drainage ways.
If you experience any localized drainage problems or see illegal dumping, please notify the Seminole County Public Works Department at 407-665-5601 so that the problem can be corrected.
For more information on floods, contact:
Seminole County Building Divisionat 407-665-7335