For many people, their home and its contents represent their greatest investment. Property losses due to flooding are generally not covered under most standard homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies. Whether your property is in a low to moderate-risk or high-risk flood area, it can be insured at reasonable rates with an National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Flood Insurance Policy.
The Village of Wellington is a proud participant in the NFIP Community Rating System, working diligently to maintain a 20% reduction in flood insurance premiums for residents while carrying out flood management measures designed to protect life and property from future flooding. This reduction applies to all properties located in “special flood hazard areas” (SFHA). Many Village Departments continue to work together with the goal of achieving even greater flood insurance premium discounts in the future.
Flood Insurance Rate Maps
FEMA has completed the new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for all of Palm Beach County. The new maps went into effect October 5, 2017. Property owners who have had their buildings “newly mapped” into a Special Flood Hazard Area are entitled to a special policy rate for buyers of flood insurance in this situation. Go to Floodsmart.gov for much more information on “Undergoing a Map Change”. The new flood maps can be viewed on the Village of Wellington website.
To find out more about flood insurance for your property and its contents, contact your insurance agent. Information is also available from the Village of Wellington by calling 561-791-4000 or 561-363-7905 and from the www.floodsmart.gov website. There is usually a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect, so don’t wait until a storm threatens before you obtain the flood insurance coverage you need.
PROPERTY PROTECTION MEASURES
Every year, flooding causes more property damage in the United States than any other type of natural disaster. While recent construction practices and regulations have made new homes less prone to flooding, many older, existing structures, remain susceptible. Throughout the country, there is a growing interest from property owners to develop practical and cost effective methods for reducing or eliminating exposure to flooding.
There are several approaches to retrofitting:
- Elevation of the structure above flood levels
- Construction of barriers (flood walls, berms)
- Dry flood proofing (water tight floors and walls)
When a flood threatens, it is always advisable to take the following emergency actions:
- Sand bagging to reduce erosion and scouring
- Elevate furniture above flood stage levels
- Create floodway openings in non-habitable areas such as garage doors
- Seal sewer lines to prevent the back flow of sewer waters
Several effective techniques include relocation of a building to a site that is not subject to flooding, construction of flood walls or berms to keep water away from the property or retrofitting structures to make them flood proof. Retrofitting is a different approach as the property itself remains subject to flooding while the building on it is modified to prevent or minimize flooding of habitable space. To speak to Building Department Staff about flood protection advice and assistance, and for information about types of financial assistance that may be available for these techniques, please call 561-791-4000 or 561-363-7905. If necessary, a community representative will visit the site in question and review the problem with the resident.
FLOOD SAFETY MEASURES
You can protect yourself from flood hazards by taking measures to ensure the safety of life and property before, during, and after a flood.
- Do not walk through flowing water. Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to gauge how deep the water is.
- Do not drive through a flooded area. Don’t drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed away and canals may not be distinguishable from roads.
- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The number two flood killer after drowning is electrocution.
- Report downed power lines to Florida Power & Light or to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department immediately.
- Wellington has instituted the Alert Wellington Emergency Notification System – an ultra high-speed telephone communication service for emergency notifications. For more information or to register your telephone number call 561-791-4000 or 561-363-7905. Flood warnings will be broadcast by local television and radio as well as The Weather Channel.
NATURAL & BENEFICIAL FUNCTIONS
Wetland areas and buffer areas adjacent to open spaces help reduce flood damage because floodwaters in a natural floodplain are permitted to spread over a large area and open spaces provide flood water storage. It is our job to help preserve natural areas. These natural areas also filter nutrients and impurities from stormwater runoff and promote infiltration and aquifer recharge. By preserving natural areas, fish and wildlife habitats are protected to provide breeding and feeding grounds. The Village of Wellington is proud to have approximately 6,000 acres of open space in the Special Flood Hazard Area.
The Flood Hazard
The primary causes of flooding in our community are tropical storm systems and afternoon thunderstorms, which generally occur from June to November. Certain areas of our community are low-lying and subject to flooding from rising water. Other flooding can occur from storm water runoff. To find out if your property is located in a flood zone, if it is vulnerable to stormwater drainage problems, or if you are in an area with natural floodplain functions that should be protected, please call (561) 791-4000 or 561-363-7905. You may also inquire about historical flood information, and find out if a FEMA elevation certificate that includes flood insurance rating data is on file for your property.
Floodplain Development Permit Requirements
Any development in the floodplain requires a building permit to ensure development according to flood regulations. If you suspect illegal floodplain development is occurring, or if you need additional information, please call Planning Zoning and Building at 561-753-2418 or 561-363-7907.
Drainage System Maintenance
A community can lose a portion of its drainage system conveyance or storm water storage capacity due to illegal dumping, debris, soil erosion and sedimentation, as well as overgrowth of vegetation. When this happens, flooding occurs more frequently and reaches higher elevations, subjecting properties otherwise protected, to an unnecessary risk of damage. Practice good drainage maintenance by keeping grass clippings and other debris out of storm water drainage systems and drainage canals to prevent clogging and loss of storm water storage and conveyance capacity. Please report dumping violations and observed canal obstructions to the Public Works Department at 791-4003.
Important Phone Numbers
Construction in the floodplain, elevation certificates and flood zone determinations within Wellington: 561-791-4000 or 561-363-7905.
Canal dumping & obstructions: 561-791-4003
Emergency Phone Numbers
Emergency Services: 561-791-4037 or 561-363-7910
Utility Customer Service
(water & wastewater): 561-791-4000 or 561-363-7905
Public Works (roads, swales, sidewalks, storm drains, street signs): 561-791-4003
Additional Emergency Phone Numbers
Palm Beach County
Emergency Management: 561-712-6400
Traffic Signal Damage: 561-683-6885
Florida Power & Light: 561-697-8000
Bell South: 611
American Red Cross: 561-833-7711
Animal Care & Control: 561-233-1200
During an emergency tune to:
WQCY420 1680 AM radio station
WELLINGTON TV-COMCAST 18 - AT&T 99
For more flood information, please visit floridadisaster.org
Para información sobre inundación en español visite el Web site de FEMA en floridadisaster.org
This Flood Information is produced by the Village of Wellington to inform residents of flood precautions.