Frequently Asked Questions
Is your property flood prone?
To determine if your property is within the FEMA designated Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) in the St. Cloud City Limits, call the City of St. Cloud Building Department at 407-957-7275, come to the Building Department, or complete and submit the Flood Zone Request Form. The Flood Zone Request Form is available online in the Building Department folder in the Document Center. The information is also available at all the Osceola County Libraries or online at FEMA's map center. The current FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) are available for viewing in the Building Department.
Copies of FEMA elevation certificates on all buildings constructed in the floodplain since 1992 are available at the Building Department. Please contact the Building Department at 407-957-7275 for more information.
All structures built within the flood hazard area will require an elevation certificate available at the City's Building Department or in the Building Department folder in the Document Center.
Who Needs to Have Flood Insurance?
Everyone, but all fee simple property (located in the SFHA) purchased, constructed, repaired or improved using federal assisted loans or grants are required to purchase flood insurance. If you do not have flood insurance, check with your insurance agent or visit the Flood Smart website to learn more about flood insurance, tips for homeowners or find an agent in your area.
Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period on new flood insurance policies. The 30-day waiting period for flood insurance coverage to become effective is waived at the closing of a loan or if there have been a change to the FIRM.
How the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Works
Most homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. Only a flood insurance policy will cover flood damage. There is additional help. Since the City of St. Cloud participates in the NFIP, flood insurance is available for your home. Since the city provides additional drainage services, a discounted rate is offered to those who purchase flood insurance policies.
Do You Have Drainage Concerns?
Over time, the City has improved and maintained a stormwater management system and will continue to improve and maintain the system which will significantly reduce road and yard flooding. Every year the City budgets funds for inspection and maintenance of the drainage ditches, catch basins and culverts that comprise the stormwater drainage system. All facets of the drainage system are inspected and maintained as needed, to insure this system will function when heavy rains occurs. The City of St. Cloud will provide technical assistance to address your drainage concerns. Call 407-957-7344 to report any unusual flooding in your area or to schedule an on-site visit.
Safety Precautions During a Flood Notice
When an Emergency Flood Warning Notice is issued for your area, take safety precautions immediately. Please check the Emergency Information website and follow the guidelines listed below:
Do not walk or drive through flowing or standing water. Unseen obstructions or hazards may cause damage to you or your vehicle. Also, sewage from overflowing lines may be present in the water.
Avoid downed power lines and electrical wires. These lines can cause electrocution.
Turn off the power in your house. This should include all propane gas tanks and lines.
Watch your step in flooded areas. Slip and fall accidents are common in wet and slippery areas.
Be alert for small animals that are flushed out by flooding conditions. Remember, under stress, animals may react by biting when disturbed.
Be aware of gas leaks in the house. Do not smoke, use candles or open flames until you are sure no leaks exist; ventilate enclosed areas if you think gas is present.
Are You Aware of Any Illegal Dumping?
City Code prohibits dumping of garbage or trash (grass clippings, leaves, limbs, used motor oil, etc.) in any ditch or storm sewer. These types of illegal activities impair drainage and may be responsible for the flooding of your property. Please notify the City of St. Cloud at 407-957-7344 of any illegal dumping you witness. The house you protect may be your own.
What can you do to protect your property?
There are things you can do to minimize property damage before a flood event occurs. Elevating and securing electrical appliances, placing all low-lying electrical fixtures on separate electrical circuits, and using flood resistant materials on the exterior surfaces are some ways you can help yourself. Under emergency situations, aside from sandbags that the City provides to shore structures, elevating or covering furniture and valuables can help minimize damage. Remember adding and removing structures will a require building permit. Please call the Building Department at 407-957-7275 for further questions.
Floodplain Importance to Community
Rainfall drains into floodplains such as wetlands, swamps and ditches. It filters through these areas and is eventually stored underground. Underground water is the primary source of drinking water and domestic water in Central Florida. It is important that we protect and maintain these drainage areas, the quality of our drinking water depends on it.