CDC Provides Important Information Related to the Zika Virus
Preventing the Zika Virus in your neighborhood
Planning Home Improvements? Damage to Your Home or Business?
The Local Flood Hazard
Natural and Beneficial Functions of the Floodplain
Prepare To Be Safe When It Floods!
Listen For Flood Warning Notices!
Development Means Progress in our Town!
Help Us Keep Our Waters Clean!
Protect Your Property!
Flood Insurance Can Help You Recover From a Disaster!
Getting That Sinking Feeling?
The Town of Cutler Bay’s floodplain management ordinances 10-04, 09-06, and 06-10 include a rule known as the 44% rule. This rule states, if your structure is damaged or improved to an amount greater than 44% of the structure’s market value, it will then have to comply with current elevation requirements, and other floodplain requirements for that area. The Town’s ordinance requires that all new construction and substantially improved buildings be built to a finish floor elevation of 1 foot above the base flood elevation established by FEMA (BFE + 1).
Many structures built before these rules were created are below the required elevations. If the 44% rule were applied to these structures they would have to be elevated to comply with current rules. Therefore it is important that we all know this rule, the elevation of our structures, and how that elevation compares with the current standard. This is one reason an Elevation Certificate is so important for all property owners to have. The Town has been keeping Elevation Certificates on file for new construction and substantially improved buildings since 2006.
To find out if your property is in a flood zone, request Elevation Certificate on file, and for other flood protection information, please call the Town’s Public Works Department, at 305-234-4262. If the Town does not have the elevation certificate of your property in there database, you can hire a Florida registered professional land surveyor to create one for you. You can also research the flood zone of your property at the following website: http://gisweb.miamidade.gov/floodzone/
The Town of Cutler Bay lies in a flat, low-lying area of Miami-Dade County. The flood hazards we face include rainfall from tropical storms, other weather systems, hurricanes, and heavy rain events. We also have several canals, channels, ditches, lakes, and other bodies of water in our Town. Our groundwater is also just below the ground surface. During the rainy season canals and lakes are frequently full of water, and the groundwater table also is full and close to the surface. When heavy rainfall occurs during this season, the stormwater runoff has nowhere to drain, leading to occasional localized flooding. During these events it is possible that man-made canals such as the C-1N and C100B Canals could overtop their banks or otherwise get backed up. Past flood events such as Hurricane Irene (1999) and the No-Name storm of October 2000 left many areas of Miami-Dade County with flooded conditions for long periods of time, causing business disruptions, power losses and other negative impacts to the community.
Floodplains in our Town serve a beneficial purpose to our quality of life. These low areas are where rainfall goes to drain. When rainfall drains into the ground, this helps reduce flooding, and recharges our drinking water supply. Some examples of floodplains in Cutler Bay are areas south of Lakes by the Bay Community and the entire Eastern border of the Town from SW 184 Street to SW 232 Street.
These floodplains also serve as filters of stormwater runoff as it seeps through the ground and into our aquifer. This aquifer is our only source of drinking water, and filtering helps contain pollution before it reaches our aquifer. It is important that try to maintain, preserve, and keep our floodplains clean whenever possible.
There are safety precautions you can take to protect your family and property, when flash flood or other flood notices are issued.
- Do not walk or drive through standing or flowing water. Downed power lines, sinkholes, or canals may exist are not visible.
- Avoid power lines that have fallen. They might still have power, and can cause electrocution.
- Turn off the power in your house. This includes propane and other gas tanks and lines.
- Watch your step in damaged and flooded areas. Slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of injuries after storms and other disasters.
- Use caution when approaching animals after a disaster. Even domesticated animals may react to stress by biting or attacking after a disaster.
- Do not smoke or use candles or open flames in your home until you can be sure no gas leaks exist. If you suspect a gas leak, ventilate the home and other enclosed areas to dissipate the gas.
- If you need to evacuate, plan ahead by having an evacuation kit ready, and include medications, blankets, water, and other essentials you and your family will need. Contact relatives and let them know where you are going. Do not forget to install shutters and take care of your pets before you go!
The National Weather Service and NOAA continually monitor local weather conditions. If major flooding is anticipated within the Town, NOAA will broadcast notices like Flood Warning, Urban Flood Advisory or Flash Flood Warning Notices through television and radio stations, such as TV Channels 4,7 and 10, and radio stations such as WIOD (610 AM) and Big 105.9 (FM). The notices will override your cable service with a rolling script across the bottom of your television. These notices are intended to help residents prepare for the possibility of heavy flooding in their neighborhoods. The Town recommends that residents tune in to these broadcasts and prepare for flooding when it may occur.
Warning times may be as long as five days for hurricanes, or one to two hours notice for flash floods and urban advisories. The key is to keep aware of these notices when watching or listening to these and other stations.
Did you know all new construction, even in low risk flood areas requires a building permit? Before you start to fill, construct an addition, or for any improvements you may be planning, please contact the Town’s Building Department, 10720 Caribbean Boulevard, Suite 110, at 305-234-4193 for the appropriate permit application. If you see construction occurring without permits, please report this to the Town’s Code Enforcement Department, at 305-234-4262. Remember, if a storm occurs, buildings constructed without the proper permits could cause damage to other structures, and may be dangerous to the whole neighborhood!
Did you know that it is illegal to throw anything, ANYTHING AT ALL - into the lakes, canals, or other waters of the Town? Do you know that nothing but stormwater is allowed to go into the storm drains located in streets, rights-of-way, and parking lots? Dumping of materials into our waters or drains pollutes those waters, clogs our storm drains, and leads to increased flooding in our neighborhoods. Please report any discharges to bodies of water or storm drains to the Town at 305-234-4262, or to the County’s Mediation Center at 305-375-3677, or Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
There are things you can do to minimize flood damage before the event occurs. Using some of the following techniques can be helpful to protect your home or business:
- For hurricanes and wind events, install shutters for your home.
- Elevate all important furniture, appliances, and other electrical items.
- Re-grade your yard to direct stormwater away from your house, but do not send this stormwater to your neighbors!
- Put all low-lying electrical fixtures on separate circuits.
- Use sand bags around doors and low level windows.
- Build flood walls, berms or swales to direct stormwater to proper disposal areas.
- Buildings can also be permanently retrofitted by elevating the entire building, adding floodproofing materials to the building or adding a second story and using the bottom story for parking, access and storage.
The Public Works Department will make site visits to provide one-on-one advice and assistance to a property owner regarding flooding and drainage issues on private property. For flooding and drainage advice and assistance, please contact (305) 234-4262.
Did you know that standard hazard insurance on properties does not cover flood damage? Did you know that flood insurance is required for all federally regulated mortgages in flood zones? Because the Town of Cutler Bay participates in the National Flood Insurance Program and the Community Rating System, flood insurance for all flood hazard areas is available for residents and business owners at reasonable rates. Current estimates are that, during the life of a 30-year mortgage, residents have a 26% chance of experiencing a serious flood event. Flood insurance is an important coverage to have!
Flood Insurance premiums are calculated based on factors such as:
- Year of building construction
- Building occupancy
- Number of floors
- The location of its contents
- Its flood risk (i.e. its flood zone)
- The location of the lowest floor in relation to the elevation requirement on the flood map.
- The deductible you choose and the amount of building and contents coverage.
Note: When purchasing flood insurance, the policy will not take effect until 30 days after purchase, so plan ahead!
Did you know that it is a requirement in the Town of Cutler Bay that, if their property is in a flood zone, sellers of improved real estate have to disclose the flood hazard to buyers? To review a copy of the flood disclosure form that is recommended for use by real estate agents, please contact the Town’s Public Works Floodplain Management Program, at 305-234-4262.
As a Town resident you need to be aware of other hazards that could impact your property. One of these can be sinkholes, which are also known as subsidence. If you witness any sinkholes occurring in Town streets, rights-of-way, or other Town-owned property, please contact the Public Works Department, at 305-234-4262 to report the location. Sinkholes can be a dangerous hazard for traffic and residents. Although the Town is not authorized to fix sinkholes on private property, we can try to assist home and business owners with options they can use to resolve this issue.
The Town of Cutler Bay has some Elevation Certificates from 1986 until October 1, 2006 (Miami-Dade County was issuing permits during this time). The Town of Cutler Bay has all Elevation Certificates for properties that were built in the Special Flood Hazard Area since October 1, 2006. Click Here to identify Elevation Certificates and LOMAs.
Year-Round Water Restrictions
South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board issued a water shortage warning for 16 counties in South Florida, including Miami-Dade County. Due to decreasing water levels and extremely dry conditions that are expected to remain, residents are to follow the mandatory year-round landscape irrigation conservation measures. Therefore, lawn watering is limited year-round in Miami-Dade County by the South Florida Water Management District's “Year-Round Landscape Irrigation Rule” (Chapter 40E-24, F.A.C.), Miami-Dade County Code (Chapter 32, Article I, Section 32-8.1), and local ordinances (Town’s Code Chapter 3, Article XI, Section 3-173).
As per Miami-Dade County Water Conservation and the South Florida Water Management District, the following water restrictions apply to the Town:
- Watering is not allowed between 10 am and 4 pm
- Hand-watering with one hose fitted with an automatic shut-off nozzle is allowed for 10 minutes per day for landscape stress relief and to prevent plant die-off.
- Restrictions apply to all users of any water resource within Miami-Dade County, whether from publicly or privately owned water utility sewer systems, private wells or private connections to surface water bodies.
Residents and businesses with a street address ending in an odd number or letters N-Z are permitted to water their lawns on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 4 pm to 10 am. Whereas, street address ending in an even number, letters A-M, no street address, or who water both even and odd addresses within the same zones (including multi-family units and Homeowner Associations), are permitted to water their lawns on Thursdays and Sundays from 4 pm to 10 am.
All water users are encouraged to practice efficient water use. The most effective way to reduce unnecessary water demand is to limit landscape irrigation by watering only on assigned irrigation days, when plants show signs of stress (i.e. wilting). Self-cancelling nozzles should be used for all hand-watering of shrubs and landscaping. Avoid washing or cleaning streets, sidewalks, driveways, or other impervious area with water. Use a self-cancelling nozzle while washing vehicles. Vehicles should be washed over pervious surface or in an area that immediately drains to a pervious surface. Indoor water use should emphasize shorter showers, running reduced laundry and clothes washing of small loads, and running dishwashers only when full. Water users should follow the proper conservation techniques and practices referenced in the District Conservation publications, including “50 Ways to be Water Smart,” “Sensible Sprinkling in South Florida,” and “Florida-Friendly Landscaping: How to Save Water through Water-Smart Landscaping.” All water users can visit www.sfwmd.gov/conserve to access additional water conservation tips and information. All water users are encouraged to increase water conservation efforts and reduce demands where possible.
Other Important Websites:
- 3-1-1 Submit A Service Request
- Miami-Dade County Water Conservation Website - Water Restrictions
- South Florida Water Management District Website - Water Shortage Warning
Other Important Documents:
- Miami-Dade County Code - Chapter 32, Article I, Section 32-8.1
- South Florida Water Management District Governing Board - Order Water Shortage Warning
- South Florida Water Management District Governing Board - Press Release
- South Florida Water Management District Rules - Chapter 40E-24, F.A.C.
- Town’s Code - Chapter 3, Article XI, Section 3-173
Other Important Flyers:
- 50 Ways to be Water Smart
- Florida-Friendly Landscaping: How to Save Water through Water-Smart Landscaping
- Sensible Sprinkling in South Florida
Hurricane Warning, Safety and Evacuation
- Adopted Flood Mitigation Plan and Approval Letters
- 1st Quarter Flood Mitigation Project List Status 2016
- 2nd Quarter Flood Mitigation Project List Status 2016
- 3rd Quarter Flood Mitigation Project List Status 2016
- 4th Quarter Flood Mitigation Project List Status 2015
- Flood Insurance Repetitive Loss Property
- 2016 Local Mitigation Strategy Annual Report
- Flood Flyer
- Coping with Disaster
- Disaster Readiness Tips for People with Mobility Disabilities
- FEMA Firmette Maps
- Floods: People with Disabilities — Disaster Safety
- Flood Water Safety
- Florida Disaster
- Hurricanes for Kids — Safety Resources, Facts & Projects
- Miami-Dade County Flood Zones
- Miami-Dade County Regulatory and Economic Resources- Tree Permitting
- Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department
- Nation Flood Insurance Program
- National Hurricane Center
- National Weather Service
- Preparing for Disasters in Your Home: What to Buy, What to Skip
- Saving the Whole Family: Disaster Preparedness for Small and Large Animals
- SFWMD Real Time Flood Gates - This link provides information for elevations upstream and downstream for the control structure S122, located in the C100 canal under Real Time Flood Gates. As an example, on 4/6/2016, the upstream highest elevation was 2.208. The downstream highest elevation was 2.05; therefore, the average elevation was 2.129.
- SFWMD Real Time Weather Gauges - This link provides readings that explain how many inches of rainfall have fallen at particular locations in real time.
- The Homeowner's Ultimate Guide to Natural Disaster Safety