Know your flood hazard  

Know your flood hazard

Not all floods are alike. Some floods develop slowly, while others such a flash floods, can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain. Floods can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states. Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live or work, but especially if you are in low-lying areas, near water, behind a levee or downstream from a dam. Even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood. (from ready.gov/floods)

Inland flooding is a well-documented natural hazard that threatens many areas and neighborhoods throughout the Greater Bridgeport Region. It is one of the most commonly occurring natural hazards and has the potential to damage property and disrupt the quality of life for many. Inland flooding affects the Region with moderate to frequent regularity, and with varying degrees of intensity, dependent on season, setting, and weather patterns. Coastal flooding threatens the Greater Bridgeport communities of Bridgeport, Fairfield and Stratford. Much like inland flooding, coastal flooding represents a common naturally occurring event that causes damage to property and quality of life. (note – adapted from draft NHMP).


Familiarize yourself with these terms to identify a flood hazard:

  • Flood Watch - Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
  • Flash Flood Watch - Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
  • Flood Warning - Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Flash Flood Warning - A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.


Flood Zones & Coastal Zonesexplanation, from http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/flooding_flood_risks/defining_flood_risks.jsp

  • High Risk Areas (Special Flood Hazard Area or SFHA): In high-risk areas, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. All home and business owners in these areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to buy flood insurance.They are shown on the flood maps as zones labeled with the letters A or V.
    • AE, A, AH, AR, A99 or AO Zone. These properties have a one percent chance of flooding in any year and are more than twice as likely to be damaged by a flood as by fire.
    • VE or V Zone. These properties have a one percent chance of flooding in any year and also face hazards associated with coastal storm waves.
  • Moderate to Low Risk Areas (non-Special Flood Hazard Area or NSFA): In moderate-to-low risk areas, the risk of being flooded is reduced but not completely removed. These areas submit over 20% of NFIP claims and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding. Flood insurance isn’t federally required in moderate-to-low areas, but it is recommended for all property owners and renters. They are shown on flood maps as zones labeled with the letters B, C or X (or a shaded X).
    • Shaded X Zone. These properties are in moderate-to-low risk areas. The risk is reduced in these areas not removed.
    • X Zone. These properties are in an area of overall lower risk.
  • Undetermined Risk Areas: No flood-hazard analysis has been conducted in these areas, but a flood risk still exists. Flood insurance rates reflect the uncertainty of the flood risk. These areas are labeled with the letter D on the flood maps.