Flood Information

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What You need to Know

Newport News, like communities across the country, is at risk of flooding. Being a coastal community, our threats are somewhat different in that we are susceptible from tidal flooding and storm surge as well as from heavy rainfall and riverine flooding. Flooding can occur almost anywhere during periods of excessive rainfall which often accompanies tropical systems and Nor’Easters.

What Should I Do?

For information about what to do before, during and after a weather emergency, please go to the following links. There you will find information about how to make a plan, what to have ready and information about how to stay safe.

For more information, please visit www.FloodSmart.gov.

Take Action Now!

  • Know your flood zone
  • Buy flood insurance: voluntary policies are inexpensive
  • Do not drive through flood water: plan a dry route
  • Prepare your property: elevate utilities
  • Get a permit before building: keep your property dry
  • Support shoreline restoration: natural floodplains reduce flooding

For more information on the National Flood Insurance Program and how to protect your property please visit www.FloodSmart.gov

Keeping floodplains open and free of development helps reduce flooding - learn how to help keep our floodplains clean by participating in annual effort Clean the Bay.

Flood Zones

Flood Zones

FEMA, manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which sets rates and mitigates flood risk by zoning and building regulations.

Stream Gauges

Stream Gauges

The City is installing eight gauges to better detect and alert you to rising water. The City will provide a new alerting system later this summer which you can sign up for free.

Storm Surge

Evacuation Zones

Hurricanes can produce tidal flooding 8 feet or higher in Newport News depending on a variety of conditions.

Evacuation Zones

Storm Surge

New in 2017, these are based on the latest science and historical records which more accurately identify areas at risk in specific storms, so Know Your Zone.

Types & Causes of Flooding in Newport News

  1. Urban Flooding
  2. Storm Surge
  3. Overbank Flooding
  4. Riverine Flooding

In an undeveloped area, nature takes care of the water runoff. It can:

  • remain where it falls and evaporates
  • become absorbed into the ground near the surface where it feeds trees and plants, or
  • percolate deeply into the ground, and replenish the groundwater supply, or
  • collect into streams and culverts.
flooded area with park bench

However, runoff can occur if the rate of rainfall is more than what can evaporate or penetrate into the soil. It also happens when rain falls on impervious surfaces, such as roadways and other paved areas. When this happens, and it is unconfined flow, the broad sheets of water can cause sheet erosion or the uniform removal of soil in thin layers. It can also pick up and absorb or carry contaminants from the surface. When the amount of surface water runoff that goes into streams and rivers is greater than what it can carry, water overflows the stream banks, spilling out into adjacent low lying areas.