History of Flooding
Partial records and historical knowledge of tidal flooding in the city date back to its first settlement. This is not a surprise since most of Poquoson has an elevation lower than 7 feet above mean sea level. In the more recent years, severe floods have occurred in 1933, 1962, 1998 and 2003 with waters rising well over 7 feet above mean sea level. Most flood events are not caused by hurricanes, but rather unnamed low-pressure systems.
Activities you can do to help prevent or reduce flood damage include:
- Raising a house to flood level
- Building a flood wall around your home
- Wet/dry flood proofing your house
- Flood proofing entrances to your home with sand bags, floodgates, or heavy duty weather stripping.
- Consulting the City's Building Official
- Reviewing the flood protection material located in the City's Library.
To find out if your home or property is in a special hazard area, contact the Building Official.
Fortunately, you can protect yourself and your future from the crippling financial losses often caused by flooding. Working with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the City has labored to bring flood awareness to Poquoson residents and to lower the cost of federally backed flood insurance. Flood insurance provides coverage that homeowner insurance policies rarely cover.
Don't wait until a storm is coming to protect your family and investment because flood insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect.
For more information about flood insurance and the NFIP, check out the City's Library and FEMA's website.
Federal Disaster Relief
Most forms of federal aid for disaster relief are loans that must be paid back with interest. This and other forms of relief are not available unless the President declares a major disaster and makes that assistance available. Over 50% of all disasters are not declared by the President as federal disasters.
In order to obtain a permit, the City requires the proposed finished floor elevation to be above the FEMA map flood elevation for new and renovated buildings unless the renovations do not exceed 50% of the City's assessed value of the structure. If you'd like to know if you are in a flood plain either contact the City's Building Official or visit the library for current maps and instructions.
The City also requires final recorded subdivision plats and individual lot surveys to show flood hazard areas.
Drainage System Maintenance
In order to minimize flood hazards, the Code of the City of Poquoson strictly prohibits any person or company from interfering with, blocking, obstructing, deterring, or altering drainage within any public right-of-way, drainage easement, drainage course, or waterway within the City.
At least twice a year, the City inspects all drainage courses that drain public property or roadways.
If you notice any drainage course that is obstructed, please contact Public Works.