About Charlotte County’s Flood Hazards
Charlotte County is a low lying area with many different types of flood risks. We have both the Peace and Myakka Rivers that flow into Charlotte Harbor along with many tributaries and creeks that could be prone to flooding. We have a great deal of shoreline along our rivers and creeks, Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico in addition to barrier islands.
Flooding can occur anywhere in the County and does not have to be as a result of something that happens within the County.
Typical sources of flooding for Charlotte County include the following:
- Hurricanes and Tropical Storms directly impacting the area
- Hurricanes and Tropical Storms passing near to the area that could cause excessive rainfall, coastal storm surge or extremely high tides.
- Significant rainfall events either with heavy rainfall in a short period of time or rainfall for a prolonged length of time, some flooding could occur from a single summertime storm.
- Rainfall events further upstream or inland of Charlotte County can cause rivers to rise and flooding in the County even though we have seen no direct weather event
Charlotte County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. This is a federal program operated by the Federal Emergency management Agency (FEMA) that provides a partnership between FEMA and the local jurisdiction. As part of this partnership, the NFIP agrees to map Charlotte County and identify areas that are prone to flooding in return; the County agrees to manage development within these areas to minimize the impacts of flooding. Because this partnership exists, the NFIP is able to provide flood insurance coverage in Charlotte County.
When mapping the areas at risk, FEMA analyze all the potential sources of flooding and provide the County with a map that indicates what type of flooding a property could expect and how high a flood could be. The resulting map is called the Flood insurance Rate Map or FIRM. On that FIRM, are Flood Zones, each zone shows the type and potential depth of flooding.
Areas that have a 1% chance in any given year of flooding to a specific level are considered to be at high risk of flooding. These areas are known as the Special Flood Hazard Area and within these areas, Flood insurance is mandatory if the structure has a federally backed mortgage.
However, flood insurance is highly advisable no matter your level of risk – it is even available in areas that are not at a high risk. Remember – your regular insurance policy does not cover you for losses as a result of a flood.
Charlotte County is currently reviewing the Coastal Planning element of our Comprehensive Plan to be in compliance with Florida’s Peril of Flood Statute (FS 163.3178), which requires consideration of future flood risks that includes storm surge and sea level rise, among others.
To see how sea level rise may affect our community, click on this link: https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-sea-level.
To learn more about the Charlotte 2050 Comprehensive Plan, click on this link: https://www.charlottecountyfl.gov/departments/community-development/planning-zoning/comprehensive-planning/charlotte-2050/