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The Importance of Being Prepared

Compare Risks

Your chances of being flooded are much greater than other risks you face daily. If you live in a 100-year floodplain, there is more than a one in four chance you will be flooded during your 30-year mortgage. You are 26 times more likely to experience a flood than a fire during that same 30-year mortgage.

Be Prepared

Flooding occurs when water accumulates faster then it can escape. There are many reasons this happens including naturally occurring depressions, inadequate or ineffective drainage and excessive rainfall.

Because of the large number of lakes, rivers, and streams in Polk, flooding can become a big problem very quickly. Your ability to prepare for this depends on your understanding of where the water is likely to come from and how it is likely to affect you.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you live on or near a lake, river or stream?
  • Do you live in a low area that has the potential to collect water from the surrounding area?
  • Do you know of any drainage problems in your area?
  • Has there been any past flooding in your area?

Stream Gauges

Being able to understand where the water might come from is an important part of getting out of its way.

Stream gauges provide stream flow information for a wide variety of uses including flood prediction, water management and allocation, engineering design, research, operation of locks and dams, and recreational safety and enjoyment. These stream gauges are operated by the U.S. Geological Service and their partners, such as the Southwest Florida Water Management Department. More than 90 percent of these stream gauges electronically record and transmit stream flow information by satellite, which is then uploaded to the Internet in near real-time.

Take a look at the stream gauges to see if a lake, river or stream near you has a gauge that can be used to help protect you, your property and your family.

Potential flooding sources and areas that have flooded in the past:

  • Bowlegs Creek
  • Polly Creek
  • Gator Creek
  • Saddle Creek
  • Itchepackesassa
  • Peace Creek Drainage Canal
  • Upper and Lower Peace River
  • Lake Hancock
  • Lake Seward
  • Saddle Bag
  • Lake Parker
  • Lake Belle
  • Winston Creek
  • Wilson Creek
  • Crooked Lake
  • Reedy Lake