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Flood Awareness

Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States and can occur anywhere. A flood is a general or temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land area or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow. Floods can be caused by many different conditions including hurricanes or storms, storm surge, heavy rain, prolonged rain, failure of dams, above average rainfall, or inadequate drainage. The impact can be small, only affecting a few properties, or very large, affecting entire communities. Some floods develop slowly, over a period of days or even weeks, while others like flash floods, can develop as quickly as within a few minutes.

Download the Flood Preparedness Brochure
View the Annual Mitigation Initiatives Progress Report

Flood Information in Your Area


For detailed information on flooding where you live visit Northwest Florida Water Management District's (NWFWMD) flood information portal.

Debris and Other Causes of Floods

Several of the City's flood damage mitigation and management efforts depend on your cooperation and assistance. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Do not dump or throw anything into streams or ditches. Dumping in our ditches and streams is a violation of the City of Tallahassee Ordinance (Sec. 21-607). Even grass clippings and branches can accumulate and plug downstream channels or pipes. Obstructed conveyances cannot carry water and when it rains the water has to go somewhere. Every piece of trash contributes to flooding.
  • If your property is next to a stream or ditch, please do your part and keep the banks clear of brush and debris. The City has a stream maintenance program that can help remove major blockage such as downed trees.
  • If you see dumping or debris in the ditches, call Streets and Drainage Division of the Public Works Department at 850-891-5300.
  • Always check with the Growth Management Department before you build on, alter, regrade, or place fill on your property. A permit may be required to ensure that these activities do not cause problems to other properties.
  • If you see building or filling without a City permit sign posted, call the Environmental Services Division of the Growth Management Department at 850-891-7150.

Preparing a Flood Disaster Plan

It is important to be ready in case a flood is about to happen - and nobody really can give you much advance warning of one. This is why each family should have a plan in place in case a flood threatens their home.

Prepare a Family Disaster Plan

  • Check to see if you have insurance that covers flooding. If not, find out how to get flood insurance.
  • Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box.

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit Containing

  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Canned food and can opener.
  • At least three gallons of water per person.
  • Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.
  • Written instructions for how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn them back on.)
  • Identify where you could go if told to evacuate. Choose several places, such as a friend's home in another town, a motel, or a shelter.
Version: 2099 (4/3/2015 9:55 AM) |