During the summer and autumn months, most flooding concerns are focused on coastal areas subject to hurricanes. However, floods can occur from a variety of sources other than tropical cyclones, even during hurricane season.
WNC is providing a short series of “Featured Flood Events” to equip agents with information that can be shared with their clients as they consider adequate and prudent protection for their valuable assets.
Growing Flood Risk in Inland Regions
Flooding of non-coastal regions can be caused by coastal storm events, but inland flooding can also result from other sources such as intense and prolonged rainfall events and spring snowmelt, which also frequently occur outside of FEMA-designated high hazard flood zones. Flooding in these areas is especially dangerous where the risk is compounded by already-saturated soil, significant storm surge that extends for several miles inland and/or the failure of levees and other flood control structures.
In 2019, billed at the beginning of this year as the “wettest year on record” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), $20 billion in property damages were caused by inland flooding alone. And according to NOAA’s Winter Outlook released last month, forecasters are predicting wetter-than-normal conditions across the northern U.S. for the upcoming season, which can result in flooding due to heavy winter rains in some areas followed by significant spring snowmelt in others.
In general, the risk of inland flooding across the U.S. continues to grow as urban development expands, changing the dynamics of flooding where construction is taking place, but also as established infrastructure ages and often deteriorates below current standards.
It’s important to remind your clients that flooding is not just a coastal concern. The following are useful resources to help facilitate conversations about flood protection with your inland clients:
- Insurance Journal: The Rising Risk of Inland Flooding
- NOAA’s U.S. Winter Outlook 2020-21
- U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit: Inland Flooding
Private Flood Insurance programs managed by WNC include mudflow as a covered peril, are much more robust than the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and can be placed with no waiting period. To learn more, contact us today at PrivateFloodSolution@wncfirst.com.