Residents can help prevent flooding and storm water pollution by:
Keeping pollutants or chemicals out of the storm drains, Keeping swales, yards and other surfaces clear of debris so that water can drain into the soil rather than running off and causing flooding, Removing debris from nearby storm drains will allow water to flow freely into them, Landscaping with native, drought-friendly plants that absorb water and require little to no fertilizer. State law prohibits dumping anything into the storm drain system and unauthorized obstructions or alterations of the drainage features. Residents should report illegal dumping into the storm water system or clogged storm drains by calling the City of Fort Lauderdale’s 24-hour Customer Service Center at (954) 828-8001.
Floodplain Development and Permit Requirements
The City of Fort Lauderdale has adopted development regulations in flood zones. In order to control the alteration of the natural floodplains and prevent or regulate the construction of flood barriers that will unnaturally divert flood waters or may increase flood hazards in other areas. This will restrict or prohibit uses that may result in increases in erosion, flood heights, or speeds, and to control filling, grading, dredging, and other development in a flood zone that may increase flood damage.
The City currently regulates all development (not just construction of buildings) within natural floodplains through the plan review process, which requires building and engineering permits before construction, filling, or otherwise altering a site’s natural elevation.
Before you start any construction project, residents and builders must contact the City’s Department of Sustainable Development at (954) 828-6520 to inquire about required permits.
If you witness illegal floodplain development, such as filling or building in the floodplain without a permit posted, please contact the Building Services Center at (954) 828-6520 to report it.
The Flood Warning System
The City of Fort Lauderdale, located in Broward County, relies on the National Weather Service (NWS) for flood warnings and other weather-related notifications.
The NWS will issue a Flash Flood Warning for Broward County, or parts of the county, when floodwaters are forecast to enter buildings and pose a threat to life and property within six hours. Normally, the Emergency Alert System (EAS) will be activated.
An Urban Flood Advisory will be issued when flooding to city streets occurs, underpasses and low-lying areas is happening or is plausible and is not expected to threaten life or property.
The NWS will issue a Flood Watch when coastal flooding is imitate within 12 – 36 hours. A Coastal Flood Warning is issued when waterfront flooding is occurring or is expected to occur within 12 hours.
Residents should monitor the following local radio and TV stations for flood warnings and evacuation information: Radio: WIOD 610 AM, or WFTL 850 AM; TV: Channel 4 (CBS); Channel 6 (NBC); Channel 7 (FOX); or Channel 10 (ABC).
Residents may also monitor City of Fort Lauderdale information via Cable Channel 78, 1610 AM radio, and www.fortlauderdale.gov.
Depending upon the type and severity of the expected flooding residents may be advised through the news media or drive-by notifications from first responders to either shelter-in-place or evacuate. Residents should use one of the evacuation routes identified in their families’ disaster plans.