What to Do in the Event of Flooding
Anywhere it rains, it can flood. Floods can be associated with an increased water level from an established waterway, such as a river or lake. Flooding can occur from tropical cyclones, rapid accumulation of heavy rainfall, dam/levee breaks, storm surge, and outdated/clogged drainage systems. Flooding is Brevard County’s most frequent hazard.
Review your five steps on your Pathways to Preparedness.
If flooding is imminent, turn off all utilities at the main power switch.
Purchase flood insurance. Regular homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding, and may not cover wind-driven rain. In most cases, it takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it's important to buy insurance before the storm approaches and the floodwaters start to rise.
If flooding occurs, go to higher ground.
Do not attempt to walk across flowing streams.
Avoid contact with floodwaters.
Evacuate immediately when the waters start to rise.
Don’t attempt to drive through a flooded road – turn around, don’t drown!
Be cautious in areas where floodwaters have receded.
Check for structural damage before reentering your home.
Prevent mold by removing wet contents immediately.
Terms to Know
- Flood Watch
- Be prepared. Conditions are favorable for flooding.
- Flood Warning
- Take action. Flooding is imminent or occurring.
- Flash floods are the most dangerous kind of floods. This type of flooding causes a rapid rise of water in a short period of time, generally with little or no warning.
- Most flood-related deaths are vehicular and occur at night.
- Brevard County participates in the Community Rating System (CRS) , which means you automatically qualify for an insurance premium reduction based on the riskiness of the area that you live in.
- The National Flood Insurance Program, is a pre-disaster flood mitigation and insurance protection program. The National Flood Insurance Program makes federally backed flood insurance available to residents and business owners. Contact the National Flood Insurance Program by calling 1-888-CALL-FLOOD ext. 445, TDD# 1-800-427-5593.
Due to its topography, the county has experienced inland flooding from at least 12 hurricane strength storms and numerous tropical systems since 1922. In addition, severe winter weather systems have caused significant coastal and inland flooding.
Flooding can occur from the ocean or rising waters of the Indian River, Banana River, St. John’s River, Mosquito Lagoon, Sykes Creek and Newfound Harbor. The majority of the land west of Interstate 95 makes up part of the St. John’s River Valley flood plain.
The county is susceptible to short duration flooding, typical of a frontal system with short periods of rain. However, rainfall can be very intense and usually is associated with thunderstorms. Freshwater flooding occurs when an excessive amount of rainfall accompanies a tropical storm or hurricane.
With the topography and high water table of Brevard County, drainage problems can make a small amount of rainfall very significant. Man-made alterations to the land have disrupted natural flow patterns and can lead to shallow flooding over a large area. Lastly, coastal tidal flooding is generated from high tides and wind action and is a chronic problem within the coastal shoreline.
In Brevard County, extreme flooding events can occur throughout the County at any time of the year.
Historic flooding events for Brevard County include:
- The most recent widespread flooding event was the result of record-setting rain during Tropical Storm Fay in 2008. Fay’s rain exceeded 20 inches of flooding above ground level.
- On October 24, 2005, Hurricane Wilma produced 10 to 13 inches of rain which fell across the central and north part of the county, and about 200 homes were flooded in Cocoa.
- On August 25, 1999, numerous thunderstorms passing over Melbourne and Brevard County produced nearly 3 to 8 inches of rain, flooding numerous roadways, and 49 homes received minor flooding.