City of St. Cloud Floodplain Management

The City of St. Cloud Floodplain Management Program was developed to protect and improve the City's natural and beneficial floodplains and to reduce flood losses due to major storms and heavy rainfall for residents and businesses. 

Flooding is the most common and the costliest natural hazard in the United States. Floods account for nearly 75 percent of all Presidential Disaster Declarations, and more than 22,000 communities experience floods and participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The City of St. Cloud has been a regular participant of the NFIP since September 17, 1980. The NFIP is managed by FEMA and provide flood insurance to property owners, renters and businesses. Homes and businesses located within high risk flood areas (Special Flood Hazard Area) with mortgages from government-backed lenders are required to have flood insurance. Flood damage is not covered under homeowners insurance. Homes and businesses that are not located with high-risk flood areas may also acquire flood insurance with the NFIP. 

In addition to participating in the NFIP, the City of St. Cloud has actively participated in the NFIP's Community Rating System (CRS) since 1993, a program that provides reductions to flood insurance premiums for policy holders. 

How to get Flood Insurance?

FEMA Flood Zones

flood zones of high flood risk (Special Flood Hazard Area)

Zone A: Properties within this flood zone have a 1% chance of flooding in any given year, and a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. No Base Flood Elevation has been determined for this Flood Zone. The City has special development requirements for structures built in this Flood Zone. 

Zone AE: Properties within this flood zone have a 1% chance of flooding in any given year, and a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. The Base Flood Elevation has been determined for this Flood Zone. The City has special development requirements for structures built in this Flood Zone. 

FLOOD ZONE OF moderate flood risk

Zone X-Shaded: These properties are located just outside of the high-risk flood zones. 

flood zone of low flood risk

Zone X-Unshaded: These properties are in an area of overall low risk for flooding. 

Find out your flood zone

Your can call our office or use the link below to identify your FEMA Flood Zone.                                                                                                    FEMA Flood Map Service Center:

how do you prepare for a flood?

Step 1: know your flood hazard

Regulated floodplains are illustrated on inundation maps called Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). FIRMs are the official maps for a community on which FEMA has delineated the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), which represent the areas subject to inundation by the 1-percent annual chance flood event.

On average, structures located within the SFHA have a 26-percent chance of flooding during the life of a standard 30-year mortgage.

FEMA FIRMs are available for free public viewing in Osceola County libraries or online at Also, upon request, the Building Department at 407-957-7224, will make free flood zone determinations for properties located within the City.

Properties located outside of the SFHA are not guaranteed to be safe from flooding.

step 2: insure your property

Flooding is not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. The City of St. Cloud participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which makes federally backed flood insurance available for all structures in the City regardless of whether or not they are located within a SFHA. 

Coverage is available for the building itself as well as its contents. Renters are highly encouraged to purchase flood insurance for their contents. Note that there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect. Contact your local insurance agency for more information.

step 3: protect yourself & your family

Tune-in to local commercial radio or television stations or NOAA weather radio frequencies (162.400 or 162.500). Purchase a Weather Alert Radio for your home and place of employment to stay informed of changing conditions.

If your property is in imminent danger of flooding, turn off the power in your house, including propane gas tanks and lines. Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity and water. If you lose power, turn off all major appliances.

Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Do not smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you know that the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated.

Avoid low-lying areas. Seek shelter in the highest areas possible. Do not walk or drive through flowing or standing water. Avoid downed power lines.

Develop an evacuation plan for your family. Designate a place where your family

step 4: protect your property

If the first floor level of your property is lower than the “Base Flood Elevation” (elevation of the 1% annual chance flood, based on the FEMA maps), consider elevating your structure, if possible, or elevating electrical and mechanical equipment.

If a flood is imminent, property can be protected by sandbagging areas subject to the entry of water into living spaces. Move valuables and furniture to higher areas of the dwelling to minimize damages.

The City of St. Cloud will make a site visit to your property to provide one-on-one advice regarding flooding and drainage issues and to recommend retrofitting and floodproofing techniques. For more information, please contact the Building Department at 407-957-7224.

step 5: build responsibly

All development within the City requires a permit. Always check and fulfill permitting requirements with the Building Department at 407-957-7224 before you build on, alter, fill, or re-grade on any portion of your property and/or within any easement or right-of-way. Also, contact the Building Department to report any suspected permitting violations. Remember, when building or grading, always maintain a clear area between lots for drainage.

The NFIP requires that if the cost of reconstruction, additions, or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s market value, then the building must meet the same construction requirements as a new building. Substantially damaged buildings must also be brought up to the same standards.

For example, a residence damaged so that the cost of repairs equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s value before it was damaged must be elevated 16 inches above the base flood elevation. Please contact the Building Department at 407-957-7224 for more information.

step 6: protect natural floodplain functions

Did you know that it is illegal to dump anything (trash, grass clippings, leaves, etc.) in any ditch or storm sewer in the City? Dumping materials into our drains pollutes our waters and clogs our stormwater system. When storm drains and ditches are blocked or full of debris, flood waters can’t drain properly, which leads to flooding in our neighborhoods. For questions, or to report drainage obstructions or illegal dumping, call the City of St. Cloud at 407-957-7344.

step 7: hurricane preparedness

Inventory and photograph your home’s contents and put important papers and insurance policies in a safe place.

Keep an emergency kit, including non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights, manual can opener, and a battery-operated radio.

Know your evacuation route. Osceola County Emergency Management will order or advise evacuations if conditions warrant. If evacuations are called for, it is imperative that you follow instructions in the time frame noted. In St. Cloud, there is a flood evacuation rally point off East 10th Street and Eastern Ave. Visit for more information on flood evacuation, emergency alerts, and steps to take to prepare for a hurricane.

step 8: reduce stormwater runoff

Install Low Impact Development techniques to help manage stormwater on site instead of allowing it to run off into the stormwater drainage system.

Visit for more information.

Install rain barrels under down spouts or extend down spouts away from your home into a rain garden. Don’t direct your downspouts into your driveway letting water flow directly into the street.

Contact the Public Works Department at 407- 957-7344 for more information about stormwater management techniques you can implement on your property.

step 9: flood education

Our floodplains and drainage system are important resources for flood protection. Poorly planned development in floodplains can lead to streambank erosion, loss of property, increased risk of flooding to downstream properties and degradation of streams, channels, lakes and canals.

Understanding and protecting the natural functions of the City’s floodplains and drainage system, such as wetlands, swamps, and ditches, helps reduce flood damage and protect natural resources. When rainfall drains into floodplains, it filters into the groundwater. Groundwater is the primary drinking water source in Central Florida, so it is important to maintain floodplain areas in order to protect our water quality. Contact the Association of State Floodplain Managers at for more information.

step 10: buy flood insurance in low risk zones

Flood insurance is not just for properties located in the floodplain. Did you know that more than 25-percent of flood insurance claims are for structures outside the 100-year floodplain? Even if your home or business is located in a low risk X Zone, it may still be at risk of flooding from urban stormwater flooding, drainage issues, rising lake levels and other flood events.

Homeowners, renters, and business owners in low risk zones can purchase standard policies or reduced-rate “preferred risk” policies. Visit or contact your local insurance agent for more information.

Resources & Helpful Links

federal emergency management agency (fema)

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)

local mitigation strategy

osceola county (st. cloud) flood insurance study

st. cloud flood damage prevention ordinance

Benefits of FLood Insurance versus Disaster Assistance

After a flood: the first steps

A brief guide to mold, moisture, and your home

flood information flyer (english)

FLOOD INformation FLYER (spanish)

Increase cost of compliance coverage

BUilding Responsibly (for building contractors & Homeowners)

Rebuilding your flooded home or business

protecting our stormwater from landscape waste (for landscape & Maintenance crews)

reduce damage to HVAC units (for building contractors & homeowners)

city of st. cloud elevation certificate requirements

For more information regarding the City's Floodplain Management Program, you may contact the City's Floodplain Manager at 407-957-7275.