Flood Protection

The City of Aventura is an active participant in the Miami-Dade County Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS). The LMS is a whole community initiative designed to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from hazards. The LMS plan is a multi-volume plan that documents the planning process and addresses mitigation measures in relation to the hazard risk and vulnerability assessment of Miami-Dade County. For more information please visit the Miami-Dade County LMS website.

Elevation Certificates

Elevation certificates can be viewed online. For more information regarding the certificates, please contact the Community Development Department.

Annual Review of the City’s Floodplain Management Plan

  • Floodplain Information
  • Flood Hazard
  • Flood Warning System
    • Flood Safety
    • Flood Insurance
    • Floodplain Development Permit requirements
    • Substantial Improvement Requirements
    • Drainage System Maintenance
    • Natural and Beneficial Functions
    • Map Determinations
    • Site Visits
  • Flood Protection Tips
    • Protecting your Property
    • Minimizing Flood Damage
    • Do not walk through flowing water, or drive through a flooded area
    • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires
    • Have your electricity turned off by FPL
    • Be ready for the unexpected
    • Look out for animals, especially snakes
    • Look before you step
    • Be alert for gas leaks
    • If you must evacuate
    • Securing Boats
    • Pet Safety Tips
  • Resources

Flood Information

1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to provide affordable flood insurance to people who live in areas with the greatest risk of flooding; this area is called the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available in communities that agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. This is important since property owners must purchase flood insurance for property located within an SFHA.

The Community Rating System (CRS) is a program developed by the Federal Insurance Administration to provide incentives for NFIP communities that implement more stringent floodplain standards than the minimum NFIP requirements. The CRS rewards these efforts with discounts on flood insurance premiums. The City of Aventura currently holds a Class 7 CRS rating. This classification equates to a 15% discount on new or renewing flood insurance policies for all SFHA properties and a 5% discount on policies for non-SFHA properties.

You can purchase flood insurance no matter where you reside (in a high, moderate or low-risk area) and there is no exclusion based on the type of ownership you represent (i.e. homeowner, renter or business owner).

Since protecting your property from floods is important, the following information and tips may be of interest to you. Please refer to this fact sheet in the event of an impending hurricane, tropical storm or notification of projected heavy rainfall. During extended periods of heavy rainfall, low lying areas within the city are subject to flooding. This information is offered to help protect your property and reduce potential losses due to flooding.

Flood Protection Assistance

The City provides flood protection assistance upon request. A City representative is available to provide flood protection methods and can visit your property to assess the problem and recommend how to protect your property from the flood hazard. Call or visit the Community Development Department to request flood protection assistance.

Flood Hazard

The majority of our storm sewer system discharges to the Intracoastal Waterway of Northern North Biscayne Bay which connects directly with the Atlantic Ocean. The waterways are influenced by tides that contribute to drainage and flood problems in the city. When there is a high tide or heavy rainfall, the storm sewer system will rapidly fill up from surface run-off and tidal waters; this could cause flood conditions in our streets, swale areas, and lawns.

The City of Aventura is divided into two drainage basins: runoff entering the tidal canals north of NE 207th Street is considered to be part of the southern segment of the Intracoastal Waterway of Broward County, and runoff south of NE 207th Street drains to the northern segment of the Intracoastal Waterway of Miami-Dade County.

The City is underlain with poorly to moderately drained soils that have been modified through extensive development and redevelopment of prior natural areas. Properties in Aventura may be elevated high enough that excessive flooding may not have been experienced. However, this may change in the future. Hurricane Andrew (1992), South Florida's most devastating storm was not a wet hurricane as compared to Hurricane Irene (1999) which registered 13 inches of rain in Miami-Dade County in a 24-hour period. In 2000, continuous rainfall from the October 3 "No Name" storm deposited more than 19 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. This storm inundated local canals and waterways and caused unprecedented residential property damage and destruction for what was originally forecast as a severe area thunderstorm.

The City continues to monitor its system to improve drainage and reduce flooding. Most recently, storm grates have been installed on all drain inlets to block debris from entering into the City's drainage system. Consequently, the quality of the water emptying into the intra-coastal waterways has increased.

Flood Warning System

The City of Aventura and Miami-Dade County utilize the National Weather Service (NWS) for flood notification. The NWS will issue flood advisories at least six (6) hours prior to expected heavy rainfall that could cause the drainage systems to overflow and create inland ponding of flood waters and the isolation of residential/business areas. Remain tuned to your local radio stations for up-to-date forecasts. In 2001, the City developed a citywide flood warning plan to provide early warning to neighborhoods that might experience flooding. Police vehicles will drive through the neighborhoods that may be impacted and use their sirens and loud speakers to issue warnings. Evacuation routes will be U.S. Highway 1 (Biscayne Boulevard), NE 125 Street, NE 135 Street and Interstate 95.

Flood Safety

If you are advised to evacuate, turn off your utilities at the main switches and/or valves. Disconnect electrical appliances, but do not touch any electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. Do not walk or drive through standing or flowing water; there may be downed power line, sinkhole or even a canal that you are unable to see. Watch your step in flooded areas as a slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries after a storm.

Flood Insurance

Most mortgage lenders require flood insurance based on the elevation of the property. In the event that your mortgage does not have this provision or if you own your property free and clear, you can still purchase this insurance at any time; however, there is a 30-day waiting period before the policy becomes effective. Remember, neither homeowner's nor windstorm insurance covers flood damage to structures. Since Aventura is an NFIP community, flood insurance is available to protect all homes, condominiums, apartments and non-residential buildings (including commercial structures) within the City. You are eligible for flood insurance regardless of whether your property has never flooded or has flooded several times in the past. All properties secured by a federally backed mortgage (FHA, VA, FNMA, etc.) must carry flood insurance.

Floodplain Development Permit

Requirements: All buildings under construction require permits. These permits should be obtained prior to commencement of construction activities. Contact the Building and Zoning Department before you build, alter, regrade or add fill to your property. Building and Zoning is located at 19200 West Country Club Drive. If you see building or fill being added to a property without a City permit posted, report the work to 305-466-8941.

Substantial Improvement Requirements

The City of Aventura and the National Flood Insurance Program require that if the cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, additions or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50 percent of the building's market value during a one year period, the building must meet the same construction requirements as a new building. This includes elevating the lowest floor to current standards. Substantially damaged buildings must also be brought up to the same standards.

Drainage System Maintenance

Proper drainage helps reduce the risk of flooding. It is illegal for any direct or indirect entry or any solid, liquid or gaseous matter to enter the drainage system. The City inspects the drainage system on a regular basis and removes blockages that are found or reported. If you live near areas where waters flow, you can help in this process by keeping the banks clear of brush and debris. Reports of any violations should be made to the Public Works at 305-466-8930 or Miami Dade County at 311.

Map Determinations

The City provides Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) determinations to let you know if you are in a flood hazard area and if you are required to carry flood insurance. If you would like a determination, contact the Building and Zoning Department at 305-466-8940. You can also refer to the City flood zone map to determine if your property lies in the Special Flood Hazard Area.

The City also has information for additional FIRM information, problems not shown on the FIRM, flood depth data, special flood related hazards, historical information, and natural floodplain functions.

Flood Protection Tips

  • Protecting your Property: If your lot is large enough, you should consider regrading it or building a small floodwall. You can also place watertight closures over the doorways' however, these approaches only protect if flooding is not too deep. You can also consider elevating your home.

    Flood-proofing, installing floodgates and making walls waterproof are among the common ways to structurally protect commercial property. Most times, residential structures are elevated higher then the anticipated floodwaters. For additional assistance on how to protect your property from flooding, you may contact the Public Works Department at 305-466-8930, or you may contact the City's Building Official at 305-466-8944. Additional information on how to perform residential retrofitting or commercial flood proofing is available at the Miami Dade Public Library in the City's Floodplain Management (CRS) reference section.
  • Minimizing Flood Damage: Don't throw or dump anything into storm sewers or canals within the City. Even grass clippings and branches can accumulate and plug channels and drains. A plugged channel or storm drain cannot carry water when it rains. Clogged storm drains will cause water to back up into the street and may cause flooding. Every piece of trash contributes to flooding. If your property is next to a canal, help keep the banks clear of brush and debris. The City has a canal maintenance program which can help remove major blockages such as downed trees; please report any blockages to 305-466-8930.
  • Do not walk through water, or drive through a flooded area: Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to ensure that the ground is still there. Also do not disregard road barriers, the road or bridge may be washed out.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Electrocution is the number two flood killer. Electrical currents can travel through water. Report downed power lines to Florida Power and Light; the number is 305-442-8770. You can also report downed power lines to the City of Aventura Police Department at 305-466-8989.
  • Have your electricity turned off by FPL. Some appliances, such as television sets, hold electrical charges even after they have been unplugged. Avoid using appliances or motors which have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned and dried.
  • Be ready for the unexpected. Place important documents inside plastic bags or other waterproof containers. Review your insurance policy to ensure it provides adequate coverage. Know what type of coverage you have. Most policies cover wind storm damage, but not flooding. Any policy change usually takes 30 days before going into effect.
  • Look out for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours. Use a pole or stick to poke and turn things over and scare away small animals. Even domesticated animals may react differently after a disaster or storm and could bite or attack.
  • Look before you step. After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris, including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud can be very slippery.
  • Be alert for gas leaks. If you use natural gas, use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don't smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated.
  • If you must evacuate: If you are required to evacuate, try to move to the house of a friend or family member not affected by the impending high waters. If you live in a mobile home, or are electrically dependent, plan to evacuate at the first notice of the emergency conditions. Rehearse your evacuation plan with all household members. Plan to leave early to avoid any traffic delays.

    Register with the Miami-Dade County Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program at 311 or TDD at 305-468-5402 if you will need assistance to evacuate. Discuss these tips with your neighbors and friends. Try to have a prearranged plan designating how you can contact your neighbors. If you have to evacuate, inform each other of places where you will be staying and leave contact telephone numbers and addresses.
  • Securing Boats: If you own a boat, it's your responsibility to secure it. As a boat owner, you should make a plan in advance to move your boat or arrange for its storage. Check with a local marina for suitable alternatives. If possible, store it inside a garage or warehouse. If you must leave your boat outside, attach the trailer tongue to something firm in the ground, let the air out of the tires and make sure the boat is secure to the trailer. If possible, fill the bilge with water, which adds extra weight. If you plan to keep your boat in the canal, be sure to double the dock lines, leaving sufficient space for the tidal range and put out extra anchors. Don't forget to remove all marine electronics or other unsecured equipment. Sail boaters should remove self-furling sails and Bimini tops. Boats on davits should be secured with extra tie lines and in such a manner to keep the boat from swinging during high winds.
  • Pet Safety Tips: Remember, most evacuation centers will not accept pets. So make plans in advance to board your pets in an animal kennel or with friends. If you plan to ask a friend, be sure to ask in advance. Make certain that your friend lives in an area that is not expected to be affected by the storm. Ask if their home would be open to you and/or your pet should a storm threaten. Do not leave your pet home during a hurricane. A secure room and a few days' food and water do not necessarily mean safety for your pet. Many people returned home after Hurricane Andrew to find their pets missing. Keep a current picture of your pet to help identify it. After the storm, take caution in allowing your pet outdoors after the storm has passed. Familiar scents and landmarks will have been altered and your pet may become confused or lost. Downed power lines also present real dangers. Take precautions not to allow your pet to consume food or water which may have become contaminated.