Information About Flooding

Natural and Beneficial Functions of the Floodplain

Natural flood and erosion control: Providing flood storage and conveyance, reduce flood velocity, controls erosion of beach front structures; Water quality: Filters nutrients and impurities from runoff.  Ground water recharge: Reduces frequency and duration of surface flow; Biological resources:  Supports high rate of plant growth, provides breeding and feeding grounds for wildlife and enhances water flow habitat; Societal resources: Provides open space and aesthetic pleasures, and in areas of scientific study, provides opportunities for environmental research.
You can report flooding by calling the Public Works Department at 772-467-3000

Local Flood Hazard

Flooding in St. Lucie County is caused by heavy rainfall that occurs in short periods of time, common during summer thunderstorms.  However, the greatest flood threats come from the excessive amounts of rainfall that accompany coastal storms, tropical storms and hurricanes.  Just in the past decade, damaging floods have hit St. Lucie County on these dates:

     Aug 3- Sept 14, 2004 (Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne)
     Oct 24, 2005 (Hurricane Wilma)
     Aug 30, 2006 (Tropical Storm Ernesto)
     Aug 20, 2008 (Tropical Storm Fay)
     Aug 27, 2012 (Tropical Storm Issac)
Many Different Types of Flooding

  • Urban Flood:  As land is converted from fields or woodlands to roads and parking lots, it loses its ability to absorb rainfall.  Urbanization increases runoff two to six times over what would occur on natural terrain.
  • River/Canal Flood:  Some floods occur seasonally when rains fill river basins with too much water, too quickly.  Torrential rains from decaying hurricanes or tropical systems can also produce flooding.
  • Flash Flood:  A flash flood is any sudden, severe flood event, usually triggered by large sudden downpours.  The effects of a downpour are worsened when terrain will not absorb water.  Reasons vary: soil type, lack of vegetation, steepness, extensive pavement (urban areas), or the saturation of soil by previous rains.

Drainage System Maintenance

A community can lose a portion of its drainage system carrying or storage capacity due to dumping, debris, soil erosion, sedimentation, and overgrowth of vegetation.  When this happens, flooding occurs more frequently and reach higher elevations, subjecting properties otherwise protected, to unnecessary risk of damage.  keep grass clippings and other debris out of stormwater drainage systems to prevent clogging and loss of stormwater and treatment capacity.  If you experience any localized drainage problems please notify the Public Works department at 772-467-3000 and if you see illegal stream dumping please notify the Fort Pierce Stormwater hotline at 772-489-2133, so that the problem can be addressed.