The City of Titusville, Florida / Community Development / Engineering Services / Flood Prevention
City of Titusville Local Flood Hazard– The City of Titusville is located in a unique geographical area, it’s bordered to the east by the Indian River, to the west by the St. Johns River and is in close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. This location makes it particularly susceptible to flooding from major rain events and storm surge. Unfortunately, the benefits of living near these water bodies have a price: an increased risk of hurricanes and tropical storms and the flooding that accompanies them. Hurricanes and Tropical Storms are most prevalent from June 1st through November 30th. The greatest risk occurs during August and September. Most casualties caused by hurricanes are the result of flooding. Heavy rain, gale force winds and rising tides will be felt hours before a storm makes landfall. HISTORY – Major storms and Hurricanes that have caused flooding in the City of Titusville: Hurricane Floyd (1999), Hurricane Irene (1999), Hurricane Charley (2004), Hurricane Frances (2004), Tropical Storm Fay (2008).
What You Can Do to Protect Your Property and Be Safe – You should know your flood hazard. Check with the City of Titusville Engineering Services Department at 321-383-5782 to find out what flood zone you are in and what the Base Flood Elevation (BSE) is for your neighborhood. Check with Brevard County Emergency Management at 321-637-6670 to find out about the emergency notification system (how much warning can you expect, and the evacuation route you should use).You can also view Brighthouse Channels 2, 6, 7, and 13 and refer to the phone book to gain additional information including evacuation routes and the location of emergency shelters.
There are specific measures you can take to protect yourself from flood waters. Learn how to turn off the gas and electricity to your house and do so if flooding is imminent. Be sure not to try to walk through flowing water or drive through flooded areas. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths, followed by electrocution. Electrical currents from downed power lines and your home circuits can travel through water causing a safety hazard. STAY OUT OF FLOOD WATERS!! Contact the Engineering Services Department at 321-383-5782 for free brochure on how to protect yourself and your dwelling. Additional information can be found on the FEMA web site at www.fema.gov.
If asked to evacuate, do so immediately and follow these instructions:
· Fuel your vehicle and get emergency cash
· Stay tuned to local media weather reports and have a battery powered radio on hand
· Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes
· Take your disaster supply kit if you evacuate
· Lock your home, don’t forget medications
· Use travel routes specified by local authorities
· Shut off water, gas and all non-essential electricity
· Collect valuable documents, papers, jewelry, etc. and other items you may need
· Tell friends/family where you are going, when you will arrive
· Make arrangements for your periods because you may be unable to return
FLOOD INSURANCE - The City of Titusville participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In doing so, local insurance agents can sell a Flood Insurance Policy, which is separate from regular property insurance, at subsidized rates set by the Federal Government. The Federal Government passed a law making it mandatory for owners to obtain a Flood Insurance policy if the structure is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and the loan is federally backed. Flood Insurance can cover the structure alone or cover a combination of the structure and contents. Renters can buy coverage for contents, even if the owner does not have structural coverage. A new insurance policy is now available that assists in bringing a non-compliant structure up to the NFIP standards if the building is substantially damaged or repetitively flooded. Flood Insurance is available for structures outside the 100 year flood plain (Zone X). There is normally a 30 day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect. Therefore, it is essential to plan ahead. Contact your insurance agent to get a flood insurance policy. And remember, your home owner’s insurance policy does not protect you from flood damage. The City of Titusville subscribes to the Community Rating System (C.R.S.) and, by doing so, flood insurance policy holders in the special flood hazard area receive a discount on their policy cost.
For general NFIP information, contact:
§ U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Federal Emergency Management Agency
500 C Street, S.W.
Washington D.C. 20472
§ FEMA on the Web
§ NFIP on the Web
1-888-CALL-FLOOD ext. 445
PROPERTY PROTECTION – In order to protect your property, electrical panel boxes, heat pumps, washers and dryers and water heaters should be elevated or relocated to areas less likely subject to flood waters. Elevate and anchor fuel tanks. Raising the furniture and other valuables on blocks also will offer protection. Know what options there are to retrofit your house. Retrofitting means to alter the building to eliminate or reduce flood damage. There are several options to consider: elevation, flood barriers, dry flood proofing, and wet flood proofing. There are several references in the public libraries on retrofitting and additional documents pertaining to flood plain management topics. It is a good idea to keep materials around the house like sandbags, plywood, lumber and plastic sheeting. These can help minimize the damage caused not only by flood waters, but damage by hurricane force winds too. For additional information on flooding, flood insurance, flood zones, or to obtain an elevation certificate form you may call the Engineering Services Department at 321-383-5782. Contact the Building Department if you are interested in retrofitting or how to pick a contractor.
NATURAL and BENEFICIAL FUNCTIONS OF FLOOD PLAINS – Natural Flood Plains generally include marsh areas and low lying areas along canals. Our Natural Flood Plains reduce damage by allowing flood waters to spread out over large areas which helps facilitate absorption into the ground, reduces flow rates and serves as a flood storage area to reduce downstream peaks. We should all do our part to help keep our flood plain and flood plain waters free of contaminants such as oil, paint, anti-freeze and pesticides. These chemicals pollute the marsh waters, thus decreasing the water quality that local wildlife depends upon for their habitat. To the west of Titusville is Canaveral National Seashore and the Kennedy Space Center which are located on a barrier island that helps protect the City. This barrier islands serve as a natural barrier to incoming hurricane forces such as wave attack, and serve to reduce tidal and wind energies. This island serves as natural aquatic habitats, wetlands, marshes and estuaries.
FLOOD WARNING SYSTEM – In Brevard County, the Brevard County Emergency Management Office has an emergency notification alert. For additional information or to register for emergency notifications, contact the Brevard County Emergency Management Office at 321-637-6670 or visit the website at http://embrevard.com/index.cfm. Information can be heard on the television (Brighthouse Channels 2, 6, 7, 13) or on the radio FM Stations 92.3, 105.1, or 107.7 and AM Stations 540 on what to do. Information can be heard on the NOAA weather radio broadcast frequency at 162.55. Local evacuation routes and shelter locations can be found in the phone book.
PERMIT REQUIREMENTS – The City of Titusville Flood Damage Prevention Regulations, Chapter 35; Article V, requires that all construction, additions, conversions and/or development comply with certain minimum standards intended to minimize damage from floods. For example, houses and certain other structures are required to be built at or above the 100 year base flood elevation.
The City of Titusville Code of Ordinances requires the issuance of building permits prior to construction. These are obtained after submittal and approval of building plans. To obtain a building permit contact the City of Titusville Building Department at City Hall, 555 S. Washington Ave., Titusville, Florida or by phone at 321-383-5795. If you see someone working without a permit or for additional questions or concerns about permits, please do not hesitate to call.
The City of Titusville Flood Damage Prevention Regulations, Chapter 35; Article V, has restrictions on the placement of fill in special flood hazard areas. The City of Titusville Land Development Regulations requires permits for certain land disturbing activities and requires soil erosion control best management practices for construction even if a development permit is not required.
SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT REQUIREMENTS – Any substantially improved or substantially damaged home must be brought up to the NFIP and City’s Flood Ordinance requirements. This is known as the 50% rule. The “50% Rule” states that if the lowest finished floor of an existing house is below the base flood elevation (BFE) and the cost of repairs or renovations (projects) are equal to or exceeds 50% of the value of the existing building, then the lowest finished floor elevation must be raised or elevated to at least the BFE. Also note that additional City Flood plain requirements may apply.
DRAINAGE SYSTEM MAINTENANCE – Besides flood insurance, you should protect your structure by ordinary preventive means. For example, do not sweep or blow construction materials, yard leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, refuse, etc. into the street, gutter, ditch or any natural outlet or storm water system. This clogs up the pipes and prevents water from draining. If your property is adjacent to a drainage ditch, please aid the City by keeping the banks clear of brush and debris. To report someone dumping or to request needed maintenance of drainage facilities, please contact the Water Resources Department at 321-383-5669.
CITY OF TITUSVILLE FLOOD PRONE AREAS - You can review flood zone map information by visiting the Engineering Services Department located in City Hall or clicking on the FEMA Map.