Flood Zones are geographic areas defined by FEMA according to varying levels of flood risks. According to FEMA flooding is the #1 natural disaster in the United States. Considering Jacksonville is only 16’ above sea level we are at very high risk for flooding, even long bouts of rain put areas of the city underwater until the sun comes back out (thankfully the intense heat of Florida can help to dry rain fairly quick).
First Coast Hurricane Shutters Explains Jacksonville Flood Zones
The St. Johns River cuts through the heart of our city. While in normal times it is an amazing natural feature and provides the city with plenty of nature and outdoor activities. It is also the perfect partner in crime to any hurricane that hits us. Not only is the main river a concern but all the tributaries that cut through our neighborhoods. It only takes an inch or two of water to create some major damage.
Obviously, everything along the coast is at the highest risk since they are so close to the ocean and therefore closer to sea level and are the first ones to be hit by the storm. But this also applies to anyone living on or near the river, as the ocean swells and the rain pours the river rises and can easily come into and overtake houses along the bank. If you are located in one of these areas (anywhere along the river and the entire north side) you have to take preventive measures very seriously.
There are some pockets in downtown and riverside that are not quite as susceptible to flooding since they are slightly farther inland and the areas along the banks block most of the damage. The area between the intercostal and river is also fairly safe as it is sandwiched in-between the two danger zones that absorb the brunt of the damage.
As you get farther west from Jacksonville you start to get out of the flood zone as you are moving more into open land and away from the river.
Check out this map to get a visual for the flood zones in Jacksonville and to be ready should you need to evacuate:
First Coast Hurricane Shutters – Defeat the Flood
Even if you aren’t in a flood zone, there is still a good chance you will have to prepare against flooding. But flooding doesn’t just come from water building up on the ground. A downpour of rain can flood your house if it can get inside.
Hurricane Shutters help prevent this from happening. By protecting the openings around your house you can make sure no rain will get in and flood your home and ruin your belongings. Combine this with some sandbags around the base of your doors and you will be sure to have a dry home after the hurricane.