Floodplain Management

House with flooded drivewayFloods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disasters and the City of Boca Raton is taking action to help reduce flood insurance rates for property owners. 

The City has enrolled in the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS), a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities.

The City of Boca Raton’s Floodplain Management program provides public information needed to increase flood hazard awareness and to motivate actions to reduce flood damage, encourage flood insurance coverage and protect the natural functions of floodplains.

Get set before things get wet 

Know your flood zone

Everyone should know their flood zone!  Call City of Boca Raton Development Services at 561-393-7792 to find out:

  • If a building is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or not.
  • If the property is in an area that has drainage problems.
  • If the property is in an area that has had flood insurance claims filed repeatedly.
  • If the building is near an area that should be protected due to its natural floodplain functions.
  • If an Elevation Certificate is on file for your building.
  • To learn how to access the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for the City.

Protect your property from flood damage

  • Elevate furniture and other household valuables and electrical appliances, or move them to higher floors.
  • Place sandbags in strategic places around your property.
  • Regrade your property to provide for better storage of stormwater runoff, install an earthen berm along the perimeter and elevate the existing structure for good flood damage prevention practices.
  • City staff will visit a property to review its flood problems and offer advice to help prevent flood damage. Call Development Services at 561-393-7792 for this valuable advice.
  • Some flood protection methods require a construction permit, so always call Development Services at 561-393-7792 before making any alterations to your property. Call if you see a project that does not have a permit sign to report the possible violation.

Flood safety

  • Obey evacuation orders from officials.  Evacuation orders are issued for imminent storm surge flooding, not the wind.
  • Know your evacuation zone, route and shelter locations.  Find your evacuation zone by visiting Palm Beach County.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires.  Electrical current can travel through water. 
  • Do not drive through flooded roadways.  Roads may not be distinguishable from canals or ponds.
  • Do not walk through flowing waters.
  • Be prepared for hurricane season. Visit the Department of Homeland Security for preparation information.

Flood warning system 

The City of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County depend on the National Weather Service (NWS) for impending flooding notification. The NWS will issue flood advisories prior to expected heavy rainfall and possible flooding. Watch The Weather Channel and have extra batteries on hand for a weather radio.

The City utilizes the CodeRED Emergency Notification system, which allows the City to notify residents via telephone of an impending emergency. To sign up, visit Hurricane Information or call 561-393-7700.

Benefits of natural floodplains 

Natural areas of the City typically collect and retain stormwater runoff during rainfall events.  These natural areas also enhance the water quality of stormwater runoff by filtering through the ground. 

Sand dunes on the beach are nature’s protection against inland flooding from waves and high tides accompanying major storms. Everyone should protect these natural areas and keep them clean!  To learn more, go to the Palm Beach County Public Library catalog, and search for “Protecting Floodplain Resources: A Guidebook for Communities.”

Stormwater management 

Water from rain is managed through a system of pipes and drainage canals. Constant water flows through canals, especially during heavy storms, is essential to flood damage protection in the City. 

  • Only stormwater down the storm drains!  
  • Oils, lawn clippings, cigarette butts, and other substances should never be put down a storm drain. 
  • Keep garbage and debris away from storm drains
  • It is unlawful to dump or throw anything into ditches or canals. To report dumping or debris accumulation in canals or ditches, please call 561-393-7941.

Flood insurance 

  • Everyone in Florida should consider purchasing a flood insurance policy to protect their building and/or its contents, whether it is in an SFHA or not!
  • Most homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies do not cover property losses due to flood waters.
  • Please note that there is usually a 30-day waiting period after purchase before coverage takes effect. The City of Boca Raton participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Community Rating System program, which provides a discount on all flood insurance policies. Be sure to look for this discount on your policy invoice. 
  • Call your insurance agent today to purchase flood insurance. If you don’t have an agent, visit FEMA Flood Smart or call FEMA at 1-800-427-4661 for help. You can also call the City of Boca Raton at 561-393-7792.

For more information

  • View the presentation of the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program and Community Rating System (PDF).
  • During an emergency obtain information at:
    • Boca Raton Radio Station AM 1650
    • Boca Raton TV Ch. 20 (Comcast), Ch. 99 (ATT),
      Ch. 395 (Hotwire)
    • City’s Citizen Information Center (CIC) during storm events at 561-982-4900
  • The Palm Beach County Public Library has many flood-related documents.  Search the catalog for “flood” and “FEMA.”

Do you live in a flood zone?

A large portion of the City of Boca Raton lies in the special flood hazard area as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. To obtain information about flood zone designations, flood zone designations, flood protection, and flood mitigation, please contact the Zoning Office at 561-393-7792 or 561-393-7793. In addition, the Zoning Office maintains copies of elevation certificates for new or substantially improved structures that are located in special flood hazard areas.

If requested, the Development Services Department will visit a property to review its flood problem and explain possible ways to stop flooding or prevent flood damage. Call the numbers above to arrange for this service.


It is unlawful to dump or throw anything into ditches or canals. Even grass clippings and branches can accumulate and plug channels. To report dumping or debris accumulation in canals or ditches, please call 561-393-7941.

2018 Boca Raton Flood Map