Natural and Beneficial Functions of the Floodplain
Natural flood and erosion control: Providing flood storage and conveyance, reducing flood velocity, controlling erosion of beachfront structures; Water quality: Filters nutrients and impurities from runoff. Groundwater recharge: Reduces frequency and duration of surface flow; Biological resources: Supports high rate of plant growth, provides breeding and feeding grounds for wildlife, and enhances water flow habitat; Societal resources: Provides open space and aesthetic pleasures, and in areas of scientific study, provides opportunities for environmental research.
Water quality is an important part of the natural and beneficial function of our floodplain. Do your part to help protect our waters, businesses and residents can be invaluable participants in the effort to protect our waters. A spill, leak, or other discharge must be reported immediately so the contaminants can be contained to avoid polluting our waterways. Do your part by reporting spills, leaks, or other illicit discharges to the Fort Pierce Stormwater Hotline at 772-467-3782.
If you experience any localized drainage problems notify the Public Works Department at 772-467-3000
Local Flood Hazard
Flooding in St. Lucie County is caused by heavy rainfall that occurs in short periods, common during summer thunderstorms. However, the greatest flood threats come from the excessive amounts of rainfall that accompany coastal storms, tropical storms, and hurricanes. Drainage problems can also cause flooding in streets when rainwater cannot flow away from the house or when the sewers or culverts are blocked. These problems are usually caused by heavy local rains and are often not related to overbank flooding or floodplain locations.
Many Different Types of Flooding
Urban Flood: As land is converted from fields or woodlands to roads and parking lots, it loses its ability to absorb rainfall. Urbanization increases runoff two to six times over what would occur on natural terrain.
River/Canal Flood: Some floods occur seasonally when rains fill river basins with too much water, too quickly. Torrential rains from decaying hurricanes or tropical systems can also produce flooding.
Flash Flood: A flash flood is any sudden, severe flood event, usually triggered by large sudden downpours. The effects of a downpour are worsened when the terrain will not absorb water. Reasons vary soil type, lack of vegetation, steepness, extensive pavement (urban areas), or the saturation of soil by previous rains.
Drainage System Maintenance
A community can lose a portion of its drainage system carrying or storage capacity due to dumping, debris, soil erosion, sedimentation, and overgrowth of vegetation. When this happens, flooding occurs more frequently and reaches higher elevations, subjecting properties otherwise protected, to unnecessary risk of damage. Keep grass clippings and other debris out of stormwater drainage systems to prevent clogging and loss of stormwater and treatment capacity. If you experience any localized drainage problems please notify the Public Works department at 772-467-3794 and if you see illegal stream dumping please notify the Fort Pierce Stormwater hotline at 772-467-3782, so that the problem can be addressed.