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Flood Facts

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Protect Natural Floodplain Functions

There are natural beneficial functions of floodplains. These benefits take many forms including:

  • Natural flood and erosion control: Providing flood storage and conveyance, reduce flood velocity.
  • 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 and enhances water fowl habitat. 
  • Societal resources: Provides open space and aesthetic pleasures, and in areas of scientific study, provides opportunities for environmental research.

Know your Flood Hazard 

In the City of Kissimmee, the primary threat of flooding results from the “ponding” of water during heavy storms. Some flooding can result from overflow of small ditches and streams during significant storm events. The City of Kissimmee is relatively flat, however, stormwater sometimes simply overwhelms street drainage and storm outfall devices. Leaves and other debris can clog storm drains, causing water to back up into lower-lying areas. Residents are encouraged not to blow yard waste (i.e. grass clippings, leaves, and small branches) into the street to prevent clogging of the stormwater grates and other similar devices.

Flood Insurance 

The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through its Federal Insurance Administration. Under the National Flood Insurance Act (42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.), federally supervised, approved, regulated or insured financial institutions must require flood insurance as a condition of making, increasing, extending, or renewing loans on improved real property or mobile homes located in identified special flood hazard areas.

This applies to:
• Conventional home mortgage loans
• Home improvement loans
• Construction loans and/or commercial loans.
Participation in the NFIP is based on an agreement between local communities, like Osceola County, and the federal government which states that if a community will implement and enforce measures to reduce future flood risks to new construction in special flood hazard areas, the federal government will make flood insurance available within the community as a protection against flood losses.

Property losses due to flooding are not covered under most standard homeowners insurance policies. You can protect your home and its contents with flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The City of Kissimmee NFIP number is 120190.
To find out more about flood insurance for your property and its contents, contact your insurance agent. There is a usually a 30 day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect, so don’t wait until a storm threatens before you secure the flood insurance you need.
The following chart lists the amounts of maximum coverage available to property owners within the County.

Building Coverage  

 Single-Family Dwelling  $250,000
 Other Residential  $250,000
 Non-Residential  $500,000
 Small Business  $500,000

Contents Coverage

 Residential $100,000 
 Non-Residential $500,000  
 Small Business  $500,000

Map Information Services

New Digital Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRM) recently effective and can be accessed Interactive Flood Zones Map . These maps will allow you to see if you are in a floodplain that might require you to have flood insurance or inform you that your property is no longer considered to be in the floodplain and flood insurance may not be required. If you live in a Zone A or AE, you will most likely be required by your lender to have flood insurance.

The City of Kissimmee offers a free Map Information Service to community residents. To learn more about the following information:

  • Basic Firm Information
    • Whether your property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area
    • Community Number, panel number, date of FIRM's index
    • Property FIRM zone
    • elevation datum
  • Information on the floodway
  • Flood depth data
  • Historical flooding information
  • Areas mapped on the National Wetlands Inventory
    • Natural floodplain areas that should be protected 

Please Contact the City of Kissimmee Stormwater Engineering Department to set up an Map Information Services appointment at 407-518-2171.

Protect yourself and others from the hazard - 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 occurs. If evacuation becomes necessary be sure that you turn off all utility services at the main connection. 

  • Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths, mostly during flash floods. 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 see how deep the water is.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Do not drive around road barriers; the road or bridges further down the road may be may be washed out.
    Stay away from power lines and electrical wires.
  • The number two flood killer after drowning is electrocution. Electric current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to the Power Company or County emergency management office.

Protect your property from the hazard - 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 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 exposures to flooding. Several effective ways include acquisition and relocation of a building to a site not subject to flooding, construction of floodwalls or berms to keep water away from the property, or retrofitting structures to make them floodproof. Retrofitting is a different approach from the other ways because the property itself remains subject to flooding while the building is modified to prevent or minimize flooding of habitable space.

There are several recognizable approaches to retrofitting:

  • Elevation of the structure above flood protection levels.
  • Construction of barriers. (floodwalls, berms)
  • Dry floodproofing. (water tight floor and wall systems)
  • Wet floodproofing. (permits entry and passage of flood waters)

In the event of pending flood threats it is always advisable to take the following emergency actions:

  • Sand bagging to reduce erosion and scouring.
  • Elevate furniture above flood protection levels.
  • Create floodway openings in non-habitable areas such as garage doors.
  • Seal off sewer lines to the dwelling to prevent the backflow of sewer waters.

Build Responsibly

Please read the City of Kissimmee’s floodplain development and permitting please refer to Land Development Code 14-2-135 or Additionally, Stormwater Ordinance 10-8.

The City of Kissimmee offers pre-application meetings free of charge to those interested in building in within the City limits.

For more information contact the Planning/Zoning department at 407-518-2140.  

General Preparedness and General Flooding

  • Inventory and photograph your home's content and put important papers and insurance policies in a safe place.
  • Check your downspout, drain away from the house