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Resilience Community Listening Session


The City of St. Petersburg recently hosted a Resilience Community Listening Session focused on discussing flooding and coastal resilience, especially for communities severely impacted by recent storms. The session took place at the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Research and Education Building. It provided an opportunity for residents from the highest flood risk areas to express their concerns and feedback on enhancing community resilience. City staff and representatives from key state and federal agencies were present to listen and engage with the community feedback, which will be collected until February 21st.

If you attended the meeting you are encouraged to fill out this survey to help improve and shape the structure of future meetings.

Resilience Community Listening Session Presentation

You can download the presentation from the Resilience Community Listening Session held on February 13, 2024. It covers the City of St. Petersburg’s strategies for managing and mitigating flooding, including distinctions between inland and coastal flooding, examples of both, mitigation strategies, recent actions taken by the city for flood resilience, emergency response measures for storms, and future planning initiatives. It also details the National Flood Insurance Program, FEMA’s role, and homeowner strategies for floodproofing properties. The presentation concludes with ways the community can contribute to resilience efforts.

The Resilience Community Listening Session presentation provided several statistics related to flood insurance and assistance, as well as specific numbers regarding St. Petersburg’s flood resilience initiatives. Here are the key statistics:

  • National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Coverage: Up to $250,000 for residential property, $100,000 for personal belongings, and $500,000 for commercial property and contents.
  • FEMA NFIP National Status: 4,678,587 insurance policies, with a total coverage of $1,277,944,653,800 and payouts totaling $79,582,659,774 since 1978.
  • FEMA Region IV Florida NFIP Status: 1,710,860 insurance policies, total coverage of $450,842,696,000, and payouts of $11,037,497,161 since 1978.
  • FEMA St. Petersburg, Florida NFIP Status: 38,072 insurance policies, total coverage of $9,320,290,000, and payouts of $129,311,732 since 1978.
  • Hurricane Idalia in St. Petersburg: 655 claims to date, with a total payout of $48,764,105 and an average claim payout of $79,680.
  • FEMA Individual Assistance: Maximum grant of $41,000, with an average grant of less than $5,000​​.

These statistics highlight the financial aspects of flood resilience, including insurance coverage, payouts for damages, and assistance for affected individuals and businesses.

The presentation contains several important pieces of information besides the statistics previously mentioned:

  1. Long-Term Sea Level Rise (SLR) Mitigation Strategies:
    • Protect with seawalls, levees, and other hardened structures.
    • Accommodate by elevating structures.
    • Advance by building a buffer out into the bay or gulf.
    • Retreat by moving away from the coast and reintroducing natural systems.
  2. Homeowner Strategies for Floodproofing:
    • Know the finished floor elevation and the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) for your home.
    • Direct water away from structures by ensuring yard slopes away from the building.
    • Purchase flood insurance, regardless of lender requirements.
    • Floodproof walls and openings below the BFE.
    • Protect HVAC systems and electrical wiring/fixtures.
  3. Community Engagement:
    • The presentation encourages community involvement in resilience efforts, such as reporting flooding events, participating in the Adopt-A-Drain program, protecting private seawalls, and reducing impervious surfaces.
  4. Flood Resilience Initiatives and Improvements:
    • Post-storm rehabilitation of stormwater pump stations and improvement of backup power generators.
    • Seeking FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant funding for backflow preventers and upgrades.
    • Deployment of temporary pump stations during storms.
    • Ongoing and future stormwater system improvements, including a $16.8 million investment in capital improvement projects for 2024, $20 million in grants awarded through Resilient Florida, and replacement of older-model backflow preventers.
  5. Future Planning Initiatives:
    • Development of a Stormwater Master Plan recommending $760 million in future projects to address extreme weather events.
    • A Resilient Florida Climate Vulnerability Analysis to expand upon the city’s 2017 study.
    • Seawall Vulnerability Analysis to identify improvements for protection against coastal flooding and sea-level rise.
    • Initiation of a Flood Resiliency Action Plan in alignment with the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s Regional Resiliency Action Plan​​.

These points outline the city’s comprehensive approach to addressing flood risks through infrastructure improvements, community engagement, and long-term planning initiatives.

Learn about the 2024 St. Petersburg Community Survey

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