THE LOCAL FLOOD HAZARD
Every property is at risk of flooding. In fact, there is a 26% chance of experiencing a flood during the life of a 30-year mortgage. Many factors contribute to flooding in areas not designated as Special Flood Hazard Areas. The greatest flood threats come from excessive rainfall that accompanies coastal storms, tropical storms and hurricanes. Finished Construction Elevation Certificates are on file.
The Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) provides flood zone determinations to advise if you are in a flood hazard area. Property within the City of Atlantis is located in several different flood zones. Most properties east of Villa Drive (North and South including Villa Drive) and along Atlantis Blvd. are located in the special flood hazard due to Lake Atlantis and Lake Atlantis South. Properties in Palm Circle adjacent to the C-15 lagoon are in the special flood hazard area. All properties west of Villa Drive are not in a special flood hazard area. You may contact City Hall to find out what flood zone your property is located in.
Homeowner’s insurance policies DO NOT cover losses due to flooding. There is a 30-day waiting period. Please note that new flood insurance policies will not be written once a storm is approaching. The City of Atlantis participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, which makes flood insurance available to everyone in the City. For most, a home and its contents are their greatest investment. If your property is even subject to the possibility of flood damage, from hurricanes or otherwise, you should be protected with an NFIP Flood Policy. Contact your insurance agent and have him or her discuss the types of coverage available to you. For additional information about flood insurance, visit FEMA’s website at: www.fema.gov/business/nfip/
There is no substitute for advance planning and preparation. Be aware of what steps to take to minimize your losses due to flooding. Prepare and annually update an inventory of all personal property with descriptions and photos, store drinking water in clean containers, keep a portable radio and flashlights on hand with fresh batteries, and have adequate first-aid supplies on hand. The local television and radio stations will warn you when it is necessary to secure your property and evacuate. Live electrical lines cause most hazards. If it appears that floodwaters will enter your home, turn off all electric and gas service. If you find that water has entered your home, do not touch electrical switches or appliances to either turn them on or off. Outside, avoid any pools of water in which a downed power line is laying. You must assume that all downed power lines are energized. Do not drive through a flooded area.
To create a personalized disaster preparedness plan for your family and/or business, please visit the State of Florida Disaster preparedness website at: www.floridadisaster.org
SUBSTAINTIAL IMPROVEMENT REQUIREMENTS:
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires that, if the cost of the reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s market value, the entire building must meet the same construction requirements of a new building.
The City of Atlantis Building Department requires permits for all construction. This includes new construction, repair/replacement work, additions, signs, fences, fill, tree removal, etc. The City of Atlantis has adopted the Southern Standard Building Code. Parts of this code regulate the amounts and types of construction in the floodplain. You must always consult with the building official when planning any kind of construction. When others violate our floodplain laws, it could affect your property. The building official should be made aware of such activities.
THE FLOOD WARNING SYSTEM
The City has a reverse 911 telephone dialing system that will notify of pending storms. In addition, copies of Palm Beach County’s Flood Warning Program are available at your nearest county library. Palm Beach County Emergency Management maintains direct contact with the National Weather Service. Local television and radio stations will broadcast hurricane associated flood warnings 36 to 48 hours prior to the flooding event. When the National Weather Service forecast intense rainfall, our drainage system can be lowered in an attempt to receive the extraordinary volume of water expected. During periods of prolonged rainfall, areas of the county are kept under surveillance and reported to the Emergency Operating Center. When advised of problem areas, response actions will be taken. When you detect street flooding in your own area, tune to a television or radio station known by you to have an active news bureau. You will be advised of measures you should take to protect your property and yourself. If you have a weather band radio, tune it to NOAA, weather radio frequency 162.475 MHz to receive local weather updates.
PROPERTY PROTECTION MEASURES
When it appears that your neighborhood is becoming seriously inundated, there are simple things you can do to protect your property: things such as sandbagging building entrances and moving your motor vehicles to higher ground; raise furniture off the floor or move it to upper floors. Many of the things you own are not only valuable but are considered by you to be irreplaceable. These items should be elevated above the floor level to protect them from flood damage. Store materials like tarps, sandbags, plastic sheeting, plywood, and lumber to protect structures, and to make quick repairs after a severe storm. Board up or shutter windows and doors. FEMA resources can now be accessed online at www.pbclibrary.org
DRAINAGE SYSTEM MAINTENANCE
The Lake Worth Drainage District maintains the lateral canals In Atlantis. The Public Works Department maintains the remaining swales and storm drains. To reduce the risk, severity or duration of Flooding; it is vital to maintain the water-carrying capacity of the drainage system. Florida law prohibits the willful obstruction of our drainage systems and provides both civil and criminal penalties for anyone convicted of such a felony. Anytime you see debris partially or completely blocking a storm drain opening please remove and dispose of the debris or call at the City at 561-965-1744. It is illegal to dump or throw anything into the ditches and canals. If you see anyone disposing of anything, including liquids, trash, vegetation or any other debris into any component of the drainage system please report it immediately to the Atlantis Police Department at 561-965-1700.
BENEFICIAL FUNCTIONS OF THE FLOODPLAIN:
These benefits take many forms:
Natural flood and erosion control: Provides natural flood and erosion control by flood storage and conveyance, and reducing flood velocity.
Water quality: Improves water quality by filtering nutrients and impurities from runoff.
Ground water recharge: Recharges the ground water while simultaneously reducing the 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, aesthetic pleasures for the community and opportunities for scientific and environmental research studies.
NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) REQUIREMENTS:
The City of Atlantis must follow the Federal government’s requirements in our NPDES permit. It is everyone’s responsibility to protect our water resources. Please do not directly discharge any used water into our watercourses. Simple examples are washing vehicles in close proximity of a storm drain and storing chemicals outdoors. The law prohibits dumping toxic waste, including pesticides, into the ground or groundwater. TOXIC or hazardous wastes include such things as oil and antifreeze. If you see anyone disposing of anything into any component of the drainage system, please report it immediately to the Atlantis Police Department at 561-965-1700.
Outdoor use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers must be applied sparingly to avoid contamination of our surface waters. Please follow directions and do not overspray pesticides or herbicides. Also please do not apply amounts in excess of the recommended amounts for fertilizers. Organic or slow release fertilizers are preferred as these are less likely to be washed off into the storm drain system. Also please apply only to the targeted areas and remove excess from any paved surfaces. South Florida is a sub-tropical rainfall region, so please consider reducing applications in the wet season and/or apply early in the morning to avoid our typical afternoon thunderstorm pattern in the wet season (June through October).
For more information, visit the National Flood Insurance Program website.