Clermont, FL is an amazing place to live, not only because of its famous reputation as an outdoor paradise, but also because of its safety track record. Specifically, Clermont is a very safe city in Florida from flooding, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.
Clermont has not experienced any significant historical floods and has received a rating of 1/10 from riskfactor.com which indicates the lowest flood risk for a city. Let’s dig in a bit more as to why Clermont has a tremendous safety record on flooding.
Has Clermont ever flooded?
Clermont is no stranger to storms. After all, it’s Florida and no city within 100 miles of the Gulf of Mexico is immune from storms building in the ocean.
Let’s take a look at how Clermont faired during the strongest storms possible—Hurricanes.
Hurricane Matthew In Clermont (2016)
The first flooding event we will discuss for Clermont is Hurricane Matthew in 2016. This was a relatively small event which impacted very few homes in Clermont.
The historical damage was assessed by riskfactor.com and reported as .007% of homes were impacted; specifically, 96 homes were impacted out of the 13,000 homes residing in Clermont, FL.
A few local reports indicated flooding in Lake County where Clermont resides. However, the reports indicated minimal home damage and wide-spread electricity outages.
“Hurricane Matthew may not have been nearly as bad in Lake County as initially feared, but it did leave trees in the road and through roofs, power lines down, debris scattered in yards, about 17,000 homes without power, some flooding and caused many businesses to close.”Daily Commercial | Oct 8, 2016
This is a great example of Clermont’s strengths in geography and local response minimizing flood damage. Hurricane Matthew was a devastating hurricane that was felt by many people in Florida, however Clermont experienced minimal damage.
Not all cities made it out of the hurricane as positively. The speed of the storm was incredibly fast, with winds reaching up to 140 miles per hour. It caused extensive damage to homes, destroying thousands of homes, and other structures across its path through the tropics and Florida coastal cities.
The rain bands of the hurricane reached Clermont and the city was fortified against rain damage. This gives a lot of confidence that Clermont is a safe location during hurricane band rains.
Hurricane Irma in Clermont (2017)
Clermont again was tested in 2017 by Hurricane Irma with even greater rain amounts. This was quite a test for Clermont because rainfall amounted to greater than 10″ in certain areas of Lake County.
While Clermont did sustain damage, for a hurricane of Irma’s strength, Clermont faired very well. Of the $34 million dollars of damage experienced in Lake County, Clermont only accounted for $3 million.
Clermont did experience flooding, but it was not at the magnitude one would expect with hurricane rain amounts.
Hurricane Ian in Clermont (2022)
The most recent storm was Hurricane Ian in 2022. This was one of the most destructive hurricanes to hit the gulf coast of Florida.
It caused significant flooding, damage, and destruction along its path as it moved across up the gulf coast through Tampa, FL. The severe winds from the hurricane ripped through towns and cities leaving a trail of broken homes, downed power lines and more behind it.
However, Clermont again sustained minimal damage–despite the city seeing 8 to 12 inches of rain.
Clermont has been battle tested for hurricanes at our city has weathered many storms with minimal flood damage. Next, we discuss why Clermont has geographical advantages to minimize flood damage.
What makes Clermont safe from flooding?
Clermont has much more elevation that other cities located in peninsular Florida. For example, Clermont reaches elevations over 300 feet whereas cities like Miami (6 feet), Tampa (48 feet), and Jacksonville (16 feet) are all relatively low-lying and prone to flood damage.
The highest point in Clermont, FL is Sugarloaf Mountain at 312 feet. We know, that doesn’t seem like a “mountain” but that is quite elevated for a Florida city.
Let’s take Hooks Rd. area as an example. This picture was taken in our car at the top of the hill. You can see just how far up we are when compared to the lake below us.
The rolling hills and elevated peaks provide a great advantage for home building, allowing rain to naturally gravitate downwards towards Clermont’s chain of lakes and swamp areas.
Speaking of the Chain of Lakes, Clermont is home to 11 lakes that are connected. This is a huge advantage to prevent flooding because the water has large, interconnected bodies of water to gravitate towards.
You can see below just how many large bodies of water Clermont has for rain water to retreat. On the left side of the map from north to south, you have Lake Minneola, Lake Minnehaha, and then Lake Louisa. All three lakes provide almost 8,000 acres of watershed assistance.
How does Clermont rank for flooding risk?
Clermont has a very low flood risk ranking. Riskfactor.com gives Clermont, FL a 1/10 ranking for potential flooding. That is the highest score they give to a city.
Riskfactor.com has built its ranking system off of peer reviewed research and advanced statistical models. Flood Factor scores increase as the 30-year cumulative flood likelihood increases, or as the projected depth of flooding increases. Properties with a higher Flood Factor are either more likely to flood, are more likely to experience high floods, or both.
With Clermont’s Flood Factor score at 1/10, they are in great position to withstand rain water from storms. This is a huge perk to living here when choosing a safe community from flooding in Florida.
Does Clermont have flood zones I should be aware of?
Yes, FEMA provides a flood map for every city in the United States. However, FEMA flood mapping doesn’t provide a complete picture for a multitude of reasons.
Federal agencies require FEMA to conduct periodic update of floodplain models every 5 years. However, funding limitations prevent acting on this requirement. As a result, a large number of FIRMs are outdated, with 11 dating back to the 1970’s and 1980s.
The last known flood map provided by FEMA for Clermont was in 2012…we are 7 years overdue.
This is why we use Flood Factors scoring because it provides in-depth context. Flood Factor provides access to flood risk data for a particular property level and incorporates future changes in environmental conditions due to sea level rise or changes in precipitation. It deals also with a range of risk assessment to provide a structure view of a property’s flood risk.
Do I need flood insurance in Clermont?
It’s always good to have proper flood insurance for your home in Florida. The good news is Lake County has invested in its infrastructure and fiscal management to provide you the best options possible.
Lake County acts as a member county of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). By participating in the NFIP, Lake County has the authority to allow federally backed flood insurance for any of its buildings, whether they’re in the floodplain or not.
As a participating community in this program, Lake County has the obligation of making sure that its floodplain management regulations meet or exceed the minimum requirements of the NFIP.
According to the law, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) cannot provide flood insurance in communities that do not have regulations that meet or exceed these minimum requirements. These regulations can be found at Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR), Section 60.3. Clermont meets all of these requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does everyone in Florida have flood insurance?
Not everyone carries flood insurance in Florida. Only 15% of households in the U.S. carries flood insurance. Unfortunately, flooding is also the most deadly and costly natural disaster in the United States.
36% of people in Florida have flood insurance. This is really low considering massive storms surface in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean.
With the typical flood claim totaling $42,000, it’s imperitive to make sure you are covered and protected. It’s important to have insurance option and one great aspect of Clermont is that it makes insurance affordable by being part of the National Flood Insurance Program.
The National Flood Insurance Program, which is based on the federally subsidized flood insurance program, which can save homeowners some serious cash.
For example, according to Policygenius.com, the NFIP costs on average $738 per year while private flood insurance costs $1074 per year. Thankfully, Lake County has done everything it can to maintain good standing with FEMA and NFIP.
How many hurricanes have hit Clermont FL?
Clermont has seen 37 hurricanes in the past 100 years. In fact, we have a blog post all about your hurricane risk in Clermont.
While 37 hurricanes might seem like a lot, Clermont’s location inland in peninsular Florida has provided shelter from large storms as hurricanes significantly weaken as they travel inland.
What should I do if my house is in a flood plain?
First, visit FEMA to determine if you are in a flood zone. Here, the link is provided for you.
Second, assess with your insurance team if flood insurance is right for your individual needs. 20% of all flood claims happen outside of high risk zones.
Third, if you decide to move forward with a policy, prepare for the financial requirements. For context a standard NFIP flood policy offers $250,000 for structures and $100,000 in content.
Fourth, contact a drainage expert who can provide terrific assistance in rerouting water and providing new drainage opportunities in your landscaping.