Natural and Beneficial Functions

Flood Damage

Natural and Beneficial Functions
Florida state regulations protect natural areas that reduce the risks associated with flooding. When floodplains are preserved or restored to their natural states, they provide many benefits to our residents and the surrounding eco-systems.

Floodplains do more than enhance our natural surroundings; they absorb rain and floodwater, reduce the number and severity of floods, and manage storm water runoff, which minimizes water pollution. Fort Lauderdale is careful to protect its’ local floodplains, such as the New River, Middle River, and North Fork of the New River. These areas are home to native pond apples, leather ferns, mangroves, cypress stands, and other deep-rooted native vegetation that provides natural cover and filters out pollutants and chemicals from the water, which helps decrease flood velocity and protect water quality.

Substantial Improvement and Damage Requirements
If the cost of rebuilding, rehabilitating, expanding, or making other improvements to a flood-damaged building equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s market value, the NFIP requires the building to meet the same construction and code requirements as a new building. Heavily damaged buildings must also meet the same requirements.

If a building or part of a building received 50% damage or decay, (as determined by the Building Official using the valuation criteria set forth in the Florida Building Code), or deteriorated from its original value or structure, it shall be destroyed. In cases where a building cannot be repaired and brought up to code, it shall also be destroyed.

Flood Information Brochures
The City of Fort Lauderdale has created several resources to advise residents of  local flood hazards and to raise awareness of measures they can take to prepare themselves, their families, and their properties in case of a flood in our area. Please download the following publications for more information:

FEMA Flood Zone Designations
Listed below are the FEMA descriptions for Flood Zone Designations that apply to the City of Fort Lauderdale:

Zone A
Zone A is the flood insurance water damage Weston zone that corresponds to the one-percent annual chance floodplains that are determined in the Flood Insurance Study by approximate methods of analysis. Because detailed hydraulic analyses have not been performed for such areas, no Base Flood Elevations or depths are shown within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.

Zone AE and A1-A30
Zones AE and A1-A30 are the flood insurance rate zones that correspond to the one-percent annual chance floodplains that are determined in the Flood Insurance Study by detailed methods of analysis. In most instances, Base Flood Elevations derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown at selected intervals within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.

Zone AH
Zone AH is the flood insurance and flood damage Oakland Park rate zone that corresponds to the areas of one-percent annual chance shallow flooding with a constant water-surface elevation (usually areas of ponding) where average depths are between 1 and 3 feet. The Base Flood Elevations derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown at selected intervals within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.

Zone AO
Zone AO is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to the areas of one-percent shallow flooding (usually sheet flow on sloping terrain) where average depths are between 1 and 3 feet. Average flood depths derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown within this zone. In addition, alluvial fan flood hazards are shown as Zone AO on the Flood Insurance Rate Map. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.

Zone VE
Zone VE is the flood and water damage Fort Lauderdale insurance rate zone that corresponds to areas within the one-percent annual chance coastal floodplain that have additional hazards associated with storm waves. Base Flood Elevations derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown at selected intervals within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.

Zones B, C, and X
Zones B, C, and X are the flood insurance rate zones that correspond to areas outside the one-percent annual chance floodplain. Areas of one-percent annual chance sheet show flooding where average depths are less than 1 foot, areas of one-percent annual chance stream flooding where the contributing drainage area is less than 1 square mile, or areas protected from the one-percent annual chance flood by levees. No Base Flood Elevations or depths are within this zone. Purchase of insurance is not required in these zones.
For more information about flood zone designations, visit http://www.fema.gov  or call the City of Ft Lauderdale’s Department of Sustainable Development at 954-828-5203.

Flood Mitigation
In 2004, the City of Fort Lauderdale adopted the Broward County Location Mitigation Strategy (LMS). The City of Fort Lauderdale is involved in the preparation of this plan and continued to sit on the Local Mitigation Strategy Working Group and Planning Committee. They monitor progress, make updates, and revise the plan. The LMS serves as the Floodplain Management Plan for the City of Fort Lauderdale for the purpose of the Community Rating System.