Office of Emergency Management

AdvisorCurrent Preparedness Focus


The City of Annapolis is susceptible to floods/flash floods anytime during the year but especially from March to September. Flooding is primarily due to the City's location as a coastal community. The lowest lying areas of the City are downtown Annapolis/City Dock and Eastport, located at the mouth of the Severn River, Annapolis Harbor, and Spa Creek.

Flood Warning Descriptions

The following are descriptions of Flood warnings applicable to this area, which could be disseminated to the populace via alert and notification mechanisms:

  • Flood Watch: A flood is possible in your area.
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.

Flash Flooding

Flash Flooding is caused by heavy or excessive rainfall in a short period of time, generally less than 6 hours. Flash floods are usually characterized by raging torrents after heavy rains that rip through river beds, urban streets, or mountain canyons sweeping everything before them. They can occur within minutes or a few hours of excessive rainfall. They can also occur even if no rain has fallen, for instance after a levee or dam has failed, or after a sudden release of water by a debris or ice jam.

  • Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible in your area.
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring or will occur very soon.

Coastal Flooding

Coastal flooding occurs when normally dry, low-lying land is flooded by seawater. The extent of coastal flooding is a function of the elevation inland flood waters penetrate which is controlled by the topography of the coastal land exposed to flooding.

  • Coastal Flood Advisory: Issued by the National Weather Service of the United States when coastal flooding is either imminent or occurring
  • Coastal Flood Warning: Issued by the National Weather Service of the United States when coastal flooding is occurring or imminent, but does not pose a serious threat to lives or property, but rather will simply pose a nuisance to people in the affected area.

City of Annapolis Hazard Mitigation Plan

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