Flood Management Plan
One of the reasons Lynn Haven is recognized for its good floodplain management policies is that the City provides public information regarding flood hazards, flood insurance, and flood protection measures designed to correct existing deficiencies in flood-prone construction. Some of the information and assistance available to residents is outlined. More information on flood management is available on the FEMA website.
- Resources for Citizens
- Flood Threat
- Safety Measures
- Permit Requirements
- Floodplain Management
- Drainage System Maintenance
Flood Insurance Rate Maps
The Lynn Haven Building Department is the community's primary source of information regarding Flood Insurance Rate Maps. It is important to know the base flood elevation of your property. Call 850-265-7316, write, or stop by the Building Department if you have any questions. A copy of certain Elevation Certificates are available at this office.
Flood Reference Library
The Lynn Haven Public Library, provides flood protection reference material to the general public. Reference materials include Flood Insurance Rate Maps, state and federal publications covering a variety of subjects, and a list of agencies and individuals to contact for more information. Residents are urged to take advantage of this flood information resource.
The City's Building Official is available to answer public inquiries regarding floor elevations of existing properties, advice on how to select a qualified contractor, review of retrofitting plans, and on-site visits to advise owners of appropriate protection measures. The Building Official is also available to answer questions regarding historical flooding problems and the potential flood threat in any given neighborhood.
Flood Warning Systems
Bay County works with the City, the National Weather Service, and the National Hurricane Center to monitor flood and storm threats and to advise the community accordingly. Potential flood alerts are issued over local radio and television stations, and over weather alert radio frequency FM-162.465 MHZ.
Lynn Haven's Flood Threat
Flooding in Lynn Haven is caused by heavy rainfall that occurs in short periods and is common during summer thunderstorms, and tidal surges that accompany tropical storms and hurricanes. Hurricane tidal surges are our greatest threat. The following table indicates storm surge levels of various categories of hurricanes:
|Category||Wind Speed (In Miles per Hour)||Storm Surge|
|1||74 to 95||4 to 5 feet|
|2||96 to 110||6 to 8 feet|
|3||111 to 130||9 to 12 feet|
|4||131 to 155||13 to 18 feet|
|5||156 plus||19 feet plus|
Special Flood Hazard Areas
Because of Lynn Haven's low land elevations and proximity to St. Andrews Bay, the flood threat is significant. Due to this threat, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has identified parts of the City as a Special Flood Hazard Area on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps. These maps establish base flood elevations for all development, with the lowest permitted habitable floor levels ranging from 2 to 10 feet above sea level.
Opal's damage to Lynn Haven residents in 1995 was substantial. This was not our first flood due to tidal surge associated with hurricanes. The potential for flood loss will always exist. The need to respect this hazard and to know how to deal with it accordingly is your best protection.
Lynn Haven residents can protect themselves from the flood hazard by taking measures to ensure the safety of life and property before, during, and after a flood occurs. Safety precautions that can minimize the potential losses in such events include:
Before a Storm
Know our areas warning procedures. Many are outlined in this brochure. Plan your evacuation in advance. Know when, where, and how you are going to evacuate prior to a storm.
Your evacuation plan should provide for your pets, your personal hurricane supplies (food, medicine, etc.) and insurance considerations. If you evacuate, take proper identification and important personal papers and documents. If you live in an area that is particularly vulnerable to flooding, you may want to keep plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, and other materials in stock to help prepare your property for the storm and to aid in emergency repairs afterwards.
Preparation for Evacuation
Keep a battery powered radio turned in to local stations, and if an evacuation order is given, comply with it. Even if it turns out to be unnecessary, leaving is better than risking the potential loss of life by staying. If you are physically impaired or require special assistance to evacuate, contact Bay County Emergency Management at 850-784-4000. Don't wait for a storm to strike. Call as soon as possible so that plans can be made to assist you.
When preparing your home prior to evacuation, it is advisable to turn off all electricity; except to your refrigerator and freezer. Also, fill your tubs, sinks, and any available containers with water, in case fresh water is not available after the storm. Board up your windows to protect them from flying debris. Move valuables and furniture to higher elevations.
After the Storm
The City will be working quickly in ensure a speedy and safe return. More people are injured after a storm due to unsafe buildings, downed power lines, contaminated water, and other unsafe conditions than are injured in the storm itself. Carefully check for structural damage prior to entering a building. Use caution when re-entering the structure. Turn on electricity one breaker at a time and watch for smoke or sparks.
Keep eyes open for snakes, insects or other animals driven to find shelter in your home. Ensure gas lines are not broken. Use flashlights or battery operated lanterns until sure. Do not use charcoal grills for indoor cooking. Use only in well ventilated areas.
With Lynn Haven's participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the City administers flood management regulations and other measures designed to minimize potential flooding losses. Any development requires a permit from either the City Planning or Building Department, or both.
The City ensures development is taking place according to flood regulations. Regulations include required elevations of the floor in living areas, flood-proofing of certain construction, limitations on placement of fill and prohibitions of certain substantial improvements, additions or reconstruction.
Requirements & Standards
In accordance with NFIP standards, the City requires that if the cost of any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building's market value, such work is considered a substantial improvement. The existing building is then required to meet the same standards as a new building. For residential structures, these requirements typically mean raising the living area to the base flood elevation.
The City's substantial improvement requirements are enforced through the development and building permitting process. Applicants for remodeling or repair of non-conforming structures (i.e. buildings which are not elevated to or above the base flood elevation) are required to submit a cost estimate of improvements and an appraised value of the existing structure, to determine if the work constitutes a substantial improvement. With these requirements, the City ensures more of the older non-conforming structures will be elevated to base flood elevations, and protected from potential flood damage.
Lynn Haven's permitting review process is necessary to allow the City to participate in the NFIP, making flood insurance available to any residents who wish to protect their property from flood damage. Development that occurs without City permits threatens the City's continued participation in the NFIP and the ability for residents to obtain flood insurance. If you see development occurring without permits, protect your rights and contact the city immediately.
Are You Insured
For many people, their home and its contents represent their greatest investment. Property losses due to flooding are not covered under most standard homeowners insurance policies. You can protect your home and its contents with flood insurance through the NFIP.
The NFIP is a federal program established by Congress in 1968 to enable property owners to buy flood insurance at reasonable rates in participating communities. In return, participating communities carry out flood management measures designed to protect life and property from future flooding.
The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through its Federal Insurance Administration. The City of Lynn Haven has participated in the NFIP since 1985.
Available Insurance Amounts
Flood insurance is required for any federally backed mortgage. The amounts of flood insurance that are available through the NFIP as of March 1, 1995 are as follows:
|Building Types||Amount Available||Content||Amount Available|
|All other Residential||$250,000||Non-Residential||$500,000|
To find out more about flood insurance for your property and its contents, contact your insurance agent. There is usually a waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect, so don't wait until a storm threatens before you secure the flood insurance you need.
In their undisturbed and natural state, area interior wetlands provide many beneficial functions, including floodplain management, wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities. Since the late 1980's, the City has been working toward the preservation and restoration of Interior Wetlands Systems to protect these resources for future generations.
Over time, the City has improved and maintained a stormwater management system which has significantly reduced the road and yard flooding that used to be commonplace during the summer rainy season. Every year the City budget funds for the inspection and maintenance of the drainage ditches, catch basins, and culverts that comprise the stormwater drainage system.
All facets of the drainage system are inspected and maintained on an annual basis to ensure this system will function when heavy rains occur. The City has also adopted regulations which make it illegal to dump any garbage, refuse, or vegetative debris in any stream, canal, or other water body to further protect the integrity of the vital drainage system.
Localized Drainage Problems
If you experience any localized drainage problems please call the Public Works Department at 850-265-5989 so that the problem can be corrected. If you wish to report a violation of the City's dumping regulations call a Code Enforcement Officer at 850-265-1112.