In the City of Stafford, flooding can be caused by heavy local precipitation that floods areas other than delineated floodplains or along recognizable drainage channels. If local conditions cannot accommodate intense precipitation through a combination of infiltration and surface runoff, water may accumulate and cause flooding problems. Flooding of this nature generally occurs in areas with flat gradients and generally increases with urbanization, which speeds up the accumulation of floodwaters because of impervious areas. Moving flood water exerts pressure on everything in its path and causes erosion of soil and scour around solid objects. Utility systems, such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, fuel, electrical systems, sewage maintenance systems, and water systems, if not elevated above base flood elevation, may also be damaged.

Also, keep in mind that six inches of moving water can knock a person off their feet and move a vehicle. Two feet of moving water is enough to float most vehicles. Floodwaters also tend to hide underwater debris, eroded roadways, and low spots on the road. Never attempt to cross floodwaters - by vehicle or by foot.

Before the Flood

  • Purchase an indoor personal notification system. These systems will alert you to any hazardous conditions that may exist, including flash floods.
  • Develop an evacuation plan with your family. Consider multiple evacuation routes in case one gets cut off by floodwaters. Avoid routes that are low in elevation or run near streams or known waterways. Consider safe locations to "meet up" in case you and your family are temporarily separated by floodwaters.
  • Prepare your 72 Hour Kit.
  • Inspect your home for potential leaks. Fix these problem areas.
  • Find out if you are located in a high, medium, or low flood risk area. Contact  Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Flood Map Service Center to determine your home's risk.
  • 2018 National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

During the Flood

  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Move to a safe area before access is cut off by floodwater.
  • Never try to walk, swim, drive, or play in floodwater.
  • If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and move to higher ground. Vehicles can be swept away by as little as two feet of water. Turn around, don't drown!
  • Inspect your home for potential leaks. Fix these problem areas.
  • Children should never play around high water, storm drains, viaducts, or dry stream beds.