Floods and flash floods occur from:
- Excessive rainfall
- Intense thunderstorms
- Tropical storms
Excessive, heavy or prolonged rainfall can also result in flooding or flash flooding especially where water is concentrated in a small channel.
Coastal flooding often occurs when strong onshore winds and or storms associated with low pressure create a storm surge that can push water from the coastline inland. Slow moving storms or stationary frontal systems will also increase the likelihood of flooding.
Gloucester County has many coastal floodplains as well as numerous creeks, streams, and wetlands, with the Chesapeake Bay to the east, the York River to the south, the Piankatank River to the north.
The County has detailed its approach to managing these flood plains in the Coastal Floodplain Management (PDF).
Hurricane Isabel in 2003 created a tidal surge of 6.4 feet at Gloucester Point. Tropical Storm Ernesto in 2006 brought 5 to 8 inches of rainfall, and tides 4 to 5 feet above normal. Hurricane Irene in 2011 caused flooding in parts of Gloucester County.
Most recently Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast in 2012, leaving a vast trail of destruction from the Carolinas to Maine. Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the second costliest hurricane in United States history.
Thank you for taking the time to read through the information that has been provided. In recent years Gloucester County has been affected by storm events that have caused significant flooding.
We hope the guidance provided here helps be prepared should the next one of these events arrive at our shores. County staff has worked hard along with other State and Federal agencies to provide the most up to date information to keep you, your family and property safe and out of harm’s way. Again thank you!