The Risks of Flooding
Wherever you live - inland or coastal, in urban or rural areas - you and your neighbors are at risk of flooding. Data shows that flooding occurs across all 50 states. It is expensive: the average flood insurance claim between 2011 and 2015 was more than $46,000. And it is dangerous: approximately 200 people die each year, with annual death rates rising.
In contrast to the portrayal of flooding as the consequence of unforeseen natural disasters, research suggests that property flooding is often repetitive and chronic. It is associated with inadequate storm and waste sewers, and expansion of buildings, roads and parking lots (which channel rain into homes). The risks are increasing dramatically as a result of changing weather patterns and climate change.
Flooding in 2016
As an example, here is a list of some major flooding events in 2016.
In March 2016, multiple days of heavy rainfall averaging 15 to 20 inches led to widespread flooding in Texas and Louisiana. This prompted numerous evacuations, high-water rescues and destruction, as more than 1,000 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed.
In April 2016, up to 17 inches of rainfall created widespread urban flooding in Houston and surrounding suburbs. Thousands of homes and businesses were damaged and more than 1,800 high water rescues were conducted. The devastation came at a cost of $2.7B.
Two months later, in June 2016, torrential rainfall caused chronic flooding through many West Virginia towns. Twenty-three people were killed and over 1,500 roads and bridges were damaged or destroyed – the cost was $1B.
In August 2016, epic rains in southern Louisiana caused devastating floods. More than 30,000 people were rescued. 50,000 homes, 100,000 vehicles and 20,000 businesses were badly damaged or destroyed. The estimated cost of the flooding is $10B.