Florida had more than 13,000 flood insurance claims from September 2004, through September 2005. Our local flooding is primarily caused by heavy rainfall that occurs in short periods of time, as is common during summer thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes. Because of the City’s proximity to the Everglades National Park, the flood threat is significant.
Special Flood Hazard Area
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has identified most of the City as a special flood hazard area on the Flood Insurance Rate Map. These maps establish base flood elevations for development within these areas with the lowest permitted habitable flood level to be a minimum of 8 feet above sea level.
Potential Flood Loss
The potential for flood loss always exists when tropical storms and hurricanes hit the area, such as when a storm hit in April 1979 and dropped 17.5 inches of rainfall in less than 48 hours. In October 1999, Hurricane Irene released 16 inches of rain in 24 hours and seven properties in Pembroke Pines received flood damage.
Respecting the Hazards
Another storm in October 2000 dropped more than 7 inches in 48 hours, and four properties received flood damage. Residents need to respect these hazards and be prepared to deal with them accordingly. Roughly 25% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program are for policies in low to moderate risk communities.