As the whole country moves out of the winter season, saying goodbye to all that snow might not be quick after all. One of the secrets of this transition from the snow-filled streets to blooming trees is the threat of flooding.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

Today, we want to talk about snowmelt, how it impacts flooding, and how flood insurance helps in protecting yourself from snow.

Spring Floods in 2022

Farewell to our cool friends from the month of December (see what we did there?) and hello to a warmer climate. For some this is a breath of fresh air since, let's be honest, the winter season had its fair share of annoyances like slippery pavements and the need to constantly shovel snow for areas that experience a lot of snow like the midwest region.

However, this shift might be presenting a bigger concern for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the warmer climate also presents the possibility of drought and spring floods across the West, Midwest, and Southeast.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

Why are NOAA and other National Weather Service (NWS) are worrying? We got a lot of moisture from winter, Chris.

This is exactly the case when you start to look into flooding. As we move into the warmest season of the year, Summer, it's important to note that all that ice and snow will start to melt.

When you have oversaturated soil, it only takes a small rainfall to transform these into water.

Lookout! Spring Floods in 2022

NOAA considers a lot of factors other than snowmelt when it comes to what's called the spring flood that we may see in May. These things include drought, the current status of snowpacks, saturation levels, frost depth, and streamflow.

These things separated don't really cause floods, but they are ingredients to the worst cocktail you might experience. However, it's important to note that flood threats don't just pertain to that overflow of water from rivers, lakes, or creeks. We all know by now that even consistent rainfall can create damaging floodwaters.

We've actually seen this happen last year in the state of Colorado. You can read our blog on it by clicking here (Snowstorm in the Centennial State: Impacts of the May Spring Runoff).

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

Considering that there was very late precipitation in fall and winter, the ground that we have during the first months of Spring would still be too wet to take in more water. Major flood risks are being expected from areas near the Red River, Ohio River, and the James River.

This isn't a problem that's specific to areas covered by snow like Ohio where there can be 2 to 4 inches of snow on average, but also to low-lying areas. Once these areas' respective ground couldn't take any more water, all that water won't stop and actually go to low-lying areas.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

 

Once you include drought in the equation, then you're just looking at heavy rain and even small amounts of precipitation to be water hitting cement.

This is why NOAA's recent outlook sees areas like the Ohio Valley to be at above-average levels when it comes to flood risks during the spring. This simply means that Ohio is expected to see more floods and runoff during the blooming season. This is the concern of NOAA due to the melting of ice, snow, as well as precipitation as we move into a warmer climate.

How Flood Insurance Helps

We're going, to be honest, a mere flood policy won't be able to change the flood threat that you're facing in Ohio or control its flood stage. However, just like a role-playing game, flood insurance has all the defense stats you would need to avoid getting snared by the violent spring runoff.

Buy Flood Insurance Now!

Flood insurance actually covers damages from all types of flooding including spring runoff or spring flood. This simply means that regardless of the floodwaters coming from snowpacks melting, storms, or major rivers cresting, you will find peace of mind knowing that you can fight those losses.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

A standard flood insurance policy can cover all of the damages due to flooding on both your home or dwelling and everything inside of it. Depending on where you're getting your flood insurance, you might see different coverage amounts.

For example, getting a flood policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will cap your coverage amount for building damages to $250,000 and $100,000 for contents.

The same can't be said for private flood insurance companies. Private flood is known for its quick turnaround time to have a policy take effect on an insured building and more flexible coverage amounts.

Need more help in preparing for spring floods? Click here to read our guide on "How to Prepare For 2022 Spring Runoff Season".

Bloom in Spring

Spring flood is becoming a yearly concern for the United States, so it's best to know why such an important change from winter to spring can impact you. After all, we are talking about our safety.

If you've got questions on spring floods or anything about flood insurance, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center where we answer your flood insurance questions.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flooding, flood insurance, and protecting you from all types of flood risks.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

 

 

Birmingham — Water is the source of life, right? But for Birmingham, Alabama, water can be a real problem and danger as floodwaters become more dangerous.

Just this month of March, we've already seen substantial flash flooding that inundated streets, establishments, and roads rendering them unusable and unsafe.

This begs the question, why do these floods keep happening in Alabama?

We'll talk about that and more in this blog.

Birmingham Last Week

Many residents across multiple counties in the State of Alabama are being bombarded with heavy rainfall due to severe storms since last Wednesday (March 16th). There were numerous areas of heavy rain and storms on First Alert AccuTrack moving in all sorts of directions. We expected this when we discussed potential flood events last month. However, this is was not at a level anyone can expect to impact Alabama.

Flash flooding immediately occurred after cities get dumped with about 2 to 4 inches of rain. At this point, it shows that it doesn't really need to be the heaviest rains to cause a flooding event in Alabama and in the city of Birmingham.

Source: www.al.com | Elizabeth D. Madison

Yesterday evening (March 22nd), a lot of vehicles in the suburbs of Birmingham were stalled by the flash floods. The drivers faced huge problems when they got caught in a flood causing a lot of cars to simply shut down in the middle of flooded roads.

This is one of the biggest concerns that FOX News' Jonathan Hardison tweeted about last night. Add this to severe storms literally busting the roof off of multiple properties ranging from mobile homes to common residential buildings.

Unfortunately, such weather conditions became very bad that one man, Joseva Lawrence Speed, 60, reportedly drowned in Wednesday's flooding after trying to get into a family members' car, and sadly he got overwhelmed by the flash flood.

So with all these flash floods caused by 1 to 5 inches of rain, you might be wondering, what's causing all these constant floods in Alabama and Birmingham City?

Birmingham Relentlessly Battles Floods

Geographical Reasons

For us to understand why Birmingham keeps on getting flooded, we have to acknowledge that Alabama and the city of Birmingham itself sit on a valley which at least 8,000 acres of land being zoned into a Flood Zone A or AE. This means that whenever there's precipitation, you can't really avoid or prevent that excess rainfall to flow downhill into low-lying areas.

These include multiple creeks such as the Shades and Little Shades creeks. You can also count the Black Warrior and Cahaba River watersheds in the areas that receive all that water from excessive rainfall.

Although there are systems in place like stormwater drainage that helps in redirecting where the floodwater goes to avoid potential damage to properties, Jonathan D. Yates, Birmingham's director of the Department of Public Works, had different findings.

These systems are simply not cut out anymore for what's happening in Birmingham. Yates even said that the stormwater drainage system is not built to handle that big and severe of a storm. So it's not just blockage or blocked drainage that's causing all these floods, it's also the behavior of water itself.

Commercial Flood Insurance Map

Urbanization: Water Hitting Cement

Other than the geographic consideration, you also need to look at progressive urbanization which turns natural soil into hard concrete. There are a lot of building projects which remove our natural protective measures against flooding such as flora like trees, vegetation, and grasses.

You see, in wooden areas, all that rainwater is getting absorbed by the soil; however the same can't be said for cities like Birmingham where rain simply just stays and moves around there.

Just imagine spilling water over your wooden dining table versus the water that's poured on a sponge. It's basically changing all that rainwater into stormwater runoff from higher areas of the state and Birmingham City.

Impacts of Climate Change

Lastly, you also need to consider how climate change has drastically worsened how these usual storms, rainfall amounts, and flooding behaves.

The drastic change from cold weather to a very warm one is only going to cause more precipitation or rain in an area. It's basic evaporation, condensation, and precipitation in Science. 

Extreme heat can also cause droughts which are generally like hitting the water to a hard concrete or cement. Take note, this is natural soil not being able to seep in water due to these severe weather conditions.

How to Best Protect Yourself

A lot of things come into play whenever you start thinking about flood mitigation. You can consider the area and flood zone to determine the overall chances of getting flooded you may have.

This is why we really encourage property owners, from restaurants to residential houses, to create flood protection for their property. This includes installing flood vents that help floodwater pass through your property and not really inundate it that much. You can also prepare sandbagging in order to slow the flow of water on your property.

These are just short-term steps in protecting yourself. The best way is to really get yourself flood insurance. This isn't really something that you can see like flood vents or sandbags, but it's the most efficient way to protect your valuables and property from flood damage.

Flood loss is the biggest concern of people in Birmingham especially with these constant floods happening in the city and the only way to take that off your chest is to be sure that someone's got your back.

Birmingham has a lot of flood insurance options that you can choose from.

You can do it through the federal government with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which got an update through Risk Rating 2.0.

You can also go through the Private Flood Insurance market which offers multiple and various insurance carriers to help you get coverage for your property.

Getting flood insurance also helps you avoid the worry of not having anything to go back to. This is because regardless of where you get your flood insurance from, you will be covered for the damages on your building as well as everything inside it.

It's hard to say that all this will be over since we can't really predict and dictate how floodwater behaves. We hope that you stay safe out there!

If you have any questions, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer all your flood insurance questions.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks, your flood insurance, and protecting the value of your property long-term.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

Alabama is a buyer beware state what exactly does this mean for Pelham Alabama homebuyers?

According to the Alabama Real Estate Institute, this means you must notify the buyer that it is their responsibility to have the proper inspections performed on a home before they actually close on the sale. The buyer is not to rely on the seller to disclose all imperfections of a property when making a decision whether to buy or not to buy.

This basically means "buyer beware". It is an interesting time for a buyer to beware in the state of Alabama right now especially Pelham Alabama. 

Pelham Alabama experienced a significant flood in October 2021. As these properties are being repaired. many are being sold. This can be challenging since it is a buyer beware state. It's especially challenging because of the crazy real estate market right.

So is there any way to protect yourself as a buyer to determine if a property has flooded?  Yes, there are a few things we are going to discuss that can help you.

We are going to look at inspections and ask the right questions

Home Inspections

Home inspections can play an important role in determining if a property has had water damage. About a year ago my wife and I were looking at properties to purchase. We were actually able to use the home inspection report to determine that water had actually entered the property causing damage. The inspection has helped us see that the issues that caused the water damage had been fixed. 

 

Asking the Right Questions

Protecting yourself as a buyer can come down to asking the right questions. This is why it is always smart to work with licensed real estate agents when asking property owners questions about a property. Many times a real estate agent knows what questions to ask because of their experience in dealing with property sales. 

The home buying process can be tricky if the right questions are not asked. One of those questions should be has the property flooded since you have owned it or lived in it?

When doing a real estate transaction it might be that it's an investment property where the property owner has never lived in the property.

This is the case with many Pelham Alabama properties as many properties are smaller homes or even townhouses. 

It's also important to understand the flood zone and flood risk of the property. Mortgage companies will run a standard flood zone determination to determine if the Pelham Alabama property is in the special flood hazard area, If it is in the special flood hazard area then the flood zone is generally going to be flood zone A or Flood zone AE. You can learn the difference in the video below.

 

If the mortgage company comes back and says it is not in a special flood hazard area that is great it means that flood insurance will not be required. However, that does not mean that the property will not flood or has not flooded.

Many Pelham Alabama properties that flooded in October 2021 were not in high-risk flood zones they were in low-risk flood zones also called flood zone x. 

 

Finding out if a property has flood claims on it can be difficult since these losses generally can only be disclosed to the current property owner. So these questions can be very important it's also important to ask the owners of adjacent properties if they have ever experienced flood damage since living there.

As a buyer of course there are only so many questions you can ask. So you really have to do your due diligence to understand everything during the diligence period. Working with a buyer's agent or sometimes a single agent is one way to do that.

One thing is to get flood insurance quotes for the property through the National Flood Insurance Program and private flood insurance companies. You can watch the video below to learn about the difference.

 

So are there any exceptions to the buyer beware law in Alabama? There can be some things that fall under health and safety and if you are lied to about a certain question. We are not licensed attorneys so we can not advise on these things. 

However, if you have questions about understanding your flood risk, how to reduce it, or different flood insurance options then we can help you. 

You can check out our learning center here

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

You can also give us a call

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

Facts can be Stranger than Fiction.

When scrolling through your Facebook feeds, you'll stumble upon an unexpected mind-blowing video. Do you know those stories that could make you do google fact check if the story is true?

Check out, for example, what happened today in Alabama's weather. We expect the winter season to close and welcome the blooming spring flowers and… BOOM! We get a deluge caused by heavy rainfall to sink everything around.

Alabama's Shocking Weather Today 

At the time of writing, many residents across multiple counties in the State of Alabama are being bombarded with heavy rainfall due to severe storms. There were numerous areas of heavy rain and storms on First Alert AccuTrack moving in all sorts of directions. We expected this prior when we focused on the potential flood events last month.

These types of storms have also been known to produce hail, which was of the size of a pea from the report. But don't underestimate them, considering it can hit like that of one of those used in paintballs which could definitely cause minor damage to your property. 

Flood Insurance for Alabama Storms: Are You Covered for This?

Alabama News even called this weekend a "severe risk Friday" due to the amount of rain expected due to the upper-level lows and cold fronts moving from Central Alabama to the Southeast.

Although these conditions are expected to end by next week, one should expect moderate to heavy rain until Thursday. The impacts of these severe thunderstorms are already felt across Jefferson County and Shelby County 

From this scenario, the whole central area of the state will obviously be exposed to heavy flooding. Just this afternoon, as the hail falls in multiple counties, a woman in Birmingham was rescued from her car, which was stuck on knee-deep high water. 

Flood Insurance for Alabama Storms: Are You Covered for This?

Don't worry, the lady is unscathed and in good condition. Sadly, we can't say the same for her car and dozens of vehicles that drove off the same road and those left in the parking area. 

This begs the question: Does flood insurance cover vehicles damaged by floodwater? 

Flood Insurance and Vehicles 

Today, Highway 31 in Alabama was inundated by flood. The local government of Jefferson and Shelby counties issued a flash flood warning until 5:30 PM. That is to save everyone from getting stranded at that same time, minimize the risk of vehicular damage. 

When it comes to flooding, vehicles are more susceptible to getting the bulk of the damage than homes. Why? For one, numerous vehicles get driven into flooded areas which causes a lot of problems safety-wise and insurance-wise.

When a car gets flooded, it is vulnerable to various problems, beginning with mold. Rust can form on body panels and other components. Water can cause engine harm. Then there's the electrical circuitry that controls everything from power windows to a car's safety and entertainment systems. They might fail intermittently or entirely.

Flood Insurance for Alabama Storms: Are You Covered for This?

Believe me, I worked as a branch manager for Enterprise Car Rental in Alabama and I saw how the southeast easily gets flooded. This is especially noticeable in Avondale and near the University of Alabama in Birmingham. This happens even with the smallest amount of rain and I've seen its severe damages to the vehicles.

— So, does having flood insurance also cover your vehicle?  

No. When it comes to vehicle coverage, no flood insurance policy will cover the damages that your truck, car, or minivan gets due to flooding. Even when you get extended coverage with your flood policy, vehicles won't be covered.

This is because flood insurance only covers your dwelling or the property building and its contents. The only time your vehicle will be covered due to flood damage is if you have that comprehensive coverage in your auto insurance policy.

Regardless of this exclusion in your flood insurance policy, it's always essential to ensure that there's a flood policy ready to protect you from flood loss.

Flood Insurance for Alabama Storms: Are You Covered for This?

Do Flood Zones Still Matter in Alabama?

That's another question that we need to ask about the current erratic weather conditions and the flooding we're seeing across cities in Alabama. Specifically, do flood zones still matter, especially with all these flash floodings? 

Not anymore. 

As you know, flood zones rating is no longer carried by either the federal or private flood insurance carriers. These ratings, which are a basis of risk a location could have when severe rain happens is, omitted and now do not impact the homeowner's premium rate.  

— Is it sound advice then not to get flood insurance just because of flood zone changes?

When you consider Alabama's current weather state and flooding occurrences, I believe we will both agree that regardless of a flood zone, one can never be too sure about the damages one can get because of these heavy rainfalls.

Do you know that Alabama is experiencing an enhanced risk for flooding in the last 2 - 3 years compared to the previous 10 - 15 years?

Be not like the property owners who moved into a low-risk flood zone and forgo carrying flood insurance for their properties and end up incurring large losses.

They may save money in the short run compared to those properties in the high-risk zones like Flood Zone A or AE, which are required to carry flood insurance. But that could be an expensive mistake, especially if situated in Alabama.

Nowadays, it's easy to conclude that you still have a big chance of getting flooded regardless of your flood zone. Would you risk losing thousands of dollars in flood just to save a few bucks from not getting flood insurance now?

We believe that you'd say no. So, let's talk about your flood insurance options in Alabama. Watch this video so you could too understand how to buy flood insurance in Alabama and your options.

We hope that everyone in Alabama is safe and sound despite having this type of weather condition. Flooding, hail, rainfall, and storms like this are no joke. So be safe as well. Don't drive into flooded roads. Make sure to be aware of where an area is flooded and protect yourself with flood insurance.

If you have any questions, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer all your flood insurance questions. Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks, your flood insurance, and protecting the value of your property long-term.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

Alabama has been always front and center when it comes to concerns of flooding. It's no surprise then that one of the biggest worries of property owners is their flood risks and equally where they land when it comes to flood maps.

In this blog, let's talk about the different flood zones in Alabama. We also want to discuss what areas are in a required flood zone and what areas aren't in a required flood zone.

Finding My Flood Zone in Alabama

Flooding in Alabama

Just in the last 2 to 3 years, the number of flood risks in the state of Alabama has drastically increased compared to the last 10 to 15 years. This is very much evident in how common it became for some areas in the state that receive 10 inches of rain in a 12-hour period. This immediately shows how higher the chance of flooding is becoming for most of these areas which become flood-prone. This is also why some areas find it uncommon to see at least 4 inches of rain just within 2 hours.

Finding My Flood Zone in Alabama

About a week ago, Limestone County in Alabama was immediately terrorized with flash floods to a point where Chapman Hollow Road at Alabama 99 had to be closed by Commissioner Townsend because due to all of the water that was over the road. This is after Limestone County got about 1.49 inches to 3.20 inches of rain last Tuesday.

This type of scenario shows how much floods have changed in the last few years in Alabama, and it warrants a proper explanation of how flood zones have a hand in this concern.

Understanding Flood Zones in Alabama

The first thing you need to know about flood zones in Alabama is that we generally separate these between low-risk flood zones and high-risk flood zones. Historically, low-risk flood zones were also called preferred risk zones, but as we move out of using flood zones as a basis for flood insurance premiums due to the Risk Rating 2.0, this isn't applicable anymore.

When we talk about low-risk flood zones, we mostly look at flood zone X. Before we move forward in discussing these low-risk zones, it's important to always remember that there's no such thing as "not in a flood zone". Each property across the United States is in a flood zone. It's crucial to understand that "not in a flood zone" are properties that are simply mapped into a low-risk zone.

Finding My Flood Zone in Alabama

Flood Zone X was called a preferred zone because generally properties in this type of flood zone have a lower risk of flooding and don't really have a requirement to carry flood insurance. However, it's becoming more of a myth now that floods don't happen in Flood Zone X as we're seeing more common flash flooding in Alabama.

On the other hand, you also have these high-risk zones which are also called the special flood hazard area (SFHA) that generally indicate an increased risk for flooding in that specific location. Flood Zone A is one of the most common high-risk zones you'll see in Alabama. Generally, when you start getting mapped into these zones, mortgage companies expect that properties in flood zone A should have flood insurance policies.

Flood Zone A is a high-risk zone due to the zone not having a determined base flood elevation. Generally, if you want to lower your flood insurance rates or be removed from being mapped into a high-risk zone like Flood Zone A, you will have to use an elevation certificate or a letter of map amendment. Generally, properties being moved into or are already mapped into these zones see a slight increase in their premium rates and flood risk.

Lastly, we have the Flood Zone AE which is somewhat similar to flood zone A however for these zones, the base flood elevation has been determined. This zone is also called the 100-year floodplain and has about 30% of flooding in a 26-year mortgage. Just like the previous flood zone, your mortgage lender will most likely require you to carry a flood policy if you're mapped into a Flood Zone AE.

Flood Zone AE's flood premiums are not determined by a single measurement alone. Most insurance companies, and even the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), now look into different flood variables such as the structure of your home, the type of foundation of your home, how much flood you get, what type of floods you get, and how much flood claims were made in a Flood Zone AE property historically.

Finding Your Flood Zone

When it comes to flood zones, generally you have to follow whatever's being indicated by your current flood insurance rate map (FIRM) from floodplain administrator. This generally means that if you're moving deeper into the SFHA, then you will have to adjust your expectations not just with the number of floods you will get, but also with your flood insurance rates. There's a directly proportional relationship between flood zones and flood risks after all.

However, this doesn't really mean that you will have to accept whatever expensive flood insurance premiums just because you're in a high-risk flood zone. In Alabama, a lot of new insurance companies are coming in to support the state when it comes to flood mitigation and protecting people from flood damage. This means that there are a lot of options to go through now.

Finding My Flood Zone in Alabama

Finding your flood zone in Alabama doesn't just mean knowing the flood zone you have, but how you can manage this better especially when it comes to the cost of flood insurance. Sometimes, you get into the wrong flood zone or maybe you want to remove your property from flood zones. Either way, we want to help you go deeper into understanding how the costs of flood insurance in Alabama are determined.

Flood Variables

Let's talk about positive elevations first and how they can have a big impact. The further your home is above the base flood elevation the better the rate is going to be. If all the elevations of your home are above the base flood elevation your home might even qualify for a letter of map amendment. This means that your property might be removed from the high-risk flood zone and placed in low-risk flood zones causing a big improvement to property values.

When it comes to the impact of negative elevations. As mentioned above basements can cause a home to have an extreme negative elevation. The higher the negative elevation home has the higher probability of a flood occurring. This can create a double-edged sword because the NFIP rates can be through the roof sometimes exceeding $10,000 a year for noncoastal properties. However, the other problem is the higher the negative elevation the less likely it is that a private insurance carrier will offer coverage on a property.

Flood losses also can have a major impact on a property. It could even stop a property from selling if severe enough. Generally, when one flood loss occurs you would lose the preferred rating with the NFIP if you had one. Having a flood loss can also eliminate most of the private flood insurance options as most will not insure a property that has had a loss. However, when the second loss and paid claim occur is when disaster can strike.

This can turn a property into a severe repetitive loss (SRL) property which has to follow certain mitigation guidelines in order to get insurance through the NFIP and private flood insurance is not available on these types of properties. This is why you should really review things closely before filing a flood insurance claim.

Finding My Flood Zone in Alabama

Flood insurance is now more important than ever in Alabama especially as we prepare for the sudden shift when it comes to rainfall amounts as we move into the Spring season.

If you have questions on flood insurance, we have a Flood Learning Center dedicated to answering all your questions and more when it comes to flood insurance. Click below to go to our Flood Learning Center page. 

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term.

To say that we've been flooded with a bunch of stuff during this month is an understatement and there's no pun intended there. As the United States shifts from winter to spring, we should all be aware of what this could mean for flood risks everywhere.

How to Prepare For 2022 Spring Runoff Season

Today, we want to talk about the 2022 spring runoff season and how you can best prepare for it, so you too won't get blindsided when crap happens.

Spring Is In The Air

For some people, the spring season is the best season in the year. If you don't have allergic reactions to all the pollen and flowers blooming, this is generally the best season to go out. You can't even deny that once all those plants bloom again as they move out of the cold winter weather, it's definitely "Instagrammable".

However, this doesn't mean that the turning of the seasons won't have serious consequences when it comes to flooding. We've seen flooding happen throughout the years especially in the northern areas of the country like Wisconsin, New York, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Minesto for example.

How to Prepare For 2022 Spring Runoff Season

If we look a few years back, we saw this type of devastating flood event during the spring season in Nebraska in 2019. What some would call "The Great Flood of 2019" caused about $1.3 billion in damages across the state and took three lives when the Missouri River Basin was overwhelmed with bomb cyclones and caused a lot of flooding across the Midwest. In Iowa, this event even impacted their access to freshwater.

Why did this happen? Well, generally this is because of the rapid snowmelt and when the snow melts, it has to go somewhere. The important thing one should show about spring runoff is that it mostly happens under the condition that natural soil is already oversaturated with water and can no longer take in more. So the excess water goes into low-lying areas causing flooding to communities.

Obviously, you don't want to experience this and be a victim of the flood damages this Spring 2022.

How To Protect Yourself

One thing we highly recommend is keeping a safe distance from the foundation of your property or your home from the snowpack in your yard. It's easy to forget the fact that it doesn't really take that much precipitation and snow to create about two inches of surface water. Generally, we recommend a safe distance of about 6 inches to 1 foot.

It's important to ensure that you steer clear from snow in general because, during the spring season, we can expect spring thunderstorms and spring precipitation which only worsens runoff during this time. We always say that when things like this happen, it's important to be close to your smartphone, TV, or the news to get your weather forecasts ahead of time in order for you to prepare ahead of time.

You can access the National Water and Climate Center, National Weather Service, or your local news to get recent forecasts on the weather during this season.

Flood Insurance in Spring

The most important thing that can protect you and your property from getting taken down by flood damages and not being able to bounce back from flood loss is flood insurance. However, take this as a precautionary reminder that flood insurance may be hard to find during the spring season starting in the month of March especially for private flood insurance.

During the spring season, some private flood insurance companies would go on moratoriums which simply means that they won't provide insurance during that period. They will only cater to people who already have an active policy with them, so if you're applying for one, it may really be hard to find.

Getting into private flood insurance as soon as now can really help you resolve the concern of insuring your property because they only have a waiting period of 3 to 15 days.

How to Prepare For 2022 Spring Runoff Season

Although the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) don't really do moratoriums, you still should be aware that you might not get flood insurance from them immediately because of their strict 30-day wait period.

So if you have any questions or concerns about flood insurance — maybe you don't live in snowy areas and are wondering if you really need to get one during the spring season — click the link below to contact us and we'll help you sort it out.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

You can also click the link below to access our Flood Learning Center which is dedicated to giving you the answers to your flood insurance questions in just a few clicks.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you flood risks like spring runoff, your flood insurance, and helping you get protection when crap happens.

Better watch out and bring out your umbrella with you if you're in Alabama. This may get rough soon!

Alabama is expected to receive rain starting Thursday, February 3rd, and until Friday, February 4th. This is pretty normal if you'd think about it however there are some flooding concerns that may be seen during this time.

Alabama Faces a Potential Flood Event in 2022

In today's blog, we want to talk about this weather event in Alabama and the flood concerns arising from it.

Heavy Rain Brings Higher Waters

Alabama is up in arms as weather forecasts expect heavy rainfall to drop on the state. This heavy rainfall is expected to be averaging 2 to 4 inches of rain and will persist from Thursday to Friday as reported by the National Weather Service (NWS). Flood watches are being sent out already since we are already expecting 3 to 6 inches of heavy rain getting dumped on Alabama just for the night of February 3rd. This means that flash flooding has an up to 10% chance of happening across the state.

This event is also expected to have some major storms as seen by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which places the south and south-central parts of the state at a marginal risk for severe weather this Thursday.

Alabama Faces a Potential Flood Event in 2022Photo courtesy of NOAA

This puts cities Mobile, Montgomery, Greenville, and Tuscaloosa at a high chance of facing an isolated major storm in the next two days. These types of storms usually create the biggest concerns are damaging wind gusts, which could take down trees and knock out power, and tornadoes.

After Friday (February 4th), the rain will begin to move out however it doesn't really mean that everything ends there since there are chances of additional rain happening during the weekends because the cold air will be rushing behind.

Flood Concerns

One of the biggest concerns that we should be aware of is that this type of weather event will surely create big flood threats and increase the overall flood risk for the whole state in the next two days.

This ranges from what we call a pluvial flood, where collected water has nowhere else to go so it starts to pile up and inundate the area. This isn't really impossible considering that we still haven't moved out of the winter season. During this time, we expect the ground to be oversaturated which generally means that it won't be able to take in as much water as it should.

Another reason why flooding may occur from a life-threatening storm surge as water levels rise due to the precipitation. This is most likely to happen in coastal Alabama like Mobile City. Generally, this means that we might see a cocktail of floods as all three types may occur during this weather event: pluvial, fluvial, and coastal flooding.

Alabama Faces a Potential Flood Event in 2022

Fluvial flooding is only different from pluvial because the source of the floods comes from a water source like a river, lake, pond, creek, and such. Generally, this type of flood has a very strong flow to it and most of the time can easily damage properties along its path.

Other than these flood concerns, when that rain starts to happen, it's most likely that roads and bridges are going to be slippier than ever. This is why we always remind people to not drive into standing water or flood, or even during a rain event like this if it's not really necessary. We don't want to be dark and grim, but most of the casualties and injuries that happen in times like this are located and involve roads.

Why Flood Insurance is Important

When it comes to floods, most people would say that they wouldn't want to leave their properties unattended because something might happen to them. This same thinking causes a lot of trouble for these property owners when water starts to inundate the property.

Flood insurance can really help you cover for this flood damage and flood loss that may occur during a time like this. More importantly, you get peace of mind that you will still have a home to go back to even after a flood.

You have two options when it comes to flood insurance in Alabama: the federal-backed National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and its new Risk Rating 2.0, and Private Flood Insurance. Let's talk about these two.

NFIP

The federal flood insurance is gearing towards a fingerprint of flood risk for properties that get a policy from them since rates will be based on the individual flood risk. Although this makes it more affordable for flood insurance coming from FEMA, this may still bring an increase to rates for some property owners.

This type of change makes them a big contender to take the spot when you ask people where best to get flood insurance however it's integral to point out that other than how you're going to be rated, some things never change with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance.

When it comes to coverage, we're still talking about the same $250,000 maximum on dwelling or building coverage and $100,000 maximum when it comes to contents

Other than these, these are all that the federal government can offer when it comes to flood insurance even with the Risk Rating 2.0 update. Here's a quick breakdown of the NFIP 2.0 card compared to the current version we have at the time of writing:

Alabama Faces a Potential Flood Event in 2022

Private Flood

Private flood insurance has made a big push in the last 15 years. There have been a lot of changes in the last 5 years that allow private flood insurance to be a great flood insurance option for many property owners. Let's look at exactly what private flood insurance is.

For many years the only option for many property owners was the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). There were many limitations with this program like wait periods, coverage amounts, and cost of the policy.

It's important to understand not all private flood insurance options are the same. There are admitted and non-admitted carriers in the private market. Each one of these types of policies has different requirements they follow.

The private flood insurance market still offers flood coverage that doesn't really have any maximum amount. You can definitely still get more than $250,000. Even when it comes to personal items or contents coverage, you can definitely go more than $100,000 for flood damage. That coverage also comes with the loss of useadditional living expenses, and/or replacement costs.

We've also seen a lot of homeowners coming to us for flood insurance and were able to get it in just a few days. The maximum waiting period for a flood policy from a private insurance company is only 14 days.

Alabama Faces a Potential Flood Event in 2022

What This Means for the Future

Considering that both Risk Rating 2.0 and private flood insurance companies base flood insurance rates on flood risks, this type of weather event can really add up to the things that increase your risk of flooding. This can also be a hard-hitter when it comes to flood mitigation since more risks require more efforts to lessen the flood damage on your property.

If Alabama were to get dumped by heavy rainfall more frequently, this could mean that flood insurance rates will also skyrocket in most areas especially when such rain event causes huge flooding in the area.

We're starting the Month of Arts and Hearts with such a concerning scenario, so we hope that you stay safe during this time. If you really don't need to head out, please stay at home and follow your local government's guidelines on what to do when flooding starts to happen. The thing is flooding can happen anytime.

So if you've got questions on flood insurance in Alabama, what this rain event could mean for your flood risk score, or anything related to flood insurance, click below to access our Flood Learning Center.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

If you want to speak to us about your flood concerns, click below to contact us:

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

Remember, we have an educational background on flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks, flood insurance, and protecting your property long-term.

A lot of changes had happened with flood insurance across the country. Kickstarted by the update to federal flood insurance with Risk Rating 2.0, a lot of things also need to be addressed when it comes to people who are buying and selling properties.

Things Realtors Should Know About Flood Insurance in Golden Isles, GA

Today's blog focuses more on the things you should know as a realtor in Golden Isles and Saint Simon Islands, Georgia when it comes to flood insurance.

CBRA Zone

One of the most important things we need to address is the overall geolocation of Saint Simons Island, Georgia, and why it's important for realtors to know why being in the coastal zones is important when it comes to flood insurance.

The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) is generally the federal government's move in order to ensure that our coastal barriers are developed and modified. Considering that the properties in Saint Simons Island are basically within reach of the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, the CBRA is implemented in the area.

Being in a coastal area like this will no doubt see its structures flooded due to storm surge, coastal erosion, or worst tsunamis. With the risk of flooding this high, you might be doubting if flood insurance is available for property owners of Golden Isles.

Is Flood Insurance Available?

The good news for realtors is that you can still sell houses in Golden Isles and secure that flood policy for your customer to protect both buildings and personal property however, there's a catch. The thing is, properties that are already built or under construction are the only ones that can get flood insurance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It's important to mention that this is only applicable if the property itself is prior to the prohibition date of the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS).

As a realtor, it's also important to note if there are substantial improvements that are "over 50 percent of the structure's market value" made for the coastal home, flood insurance will no longer be available from FEMA and the NFIP. 

Changing Flood Zones

We've mentioned in the introduction how Risk Rating 2.0 is changing the flood insurance scene. One of its biggest impacts is moving out of using flood zones as a basis for flood insurance rates.

You might have encountered a lot of potential buyers rejecting to buy a house in Saint Simons Island because it's basically flood-prone and it's located in a high-risk flood zone. Generally, these concerns lean more towards homeowners being scared off by potential flood insurance rates skyrocketing.

The good news you can tell as a realtor is that being in a coastal flood zone, like Flood Zone V, won't really impact flood insurance premiums with the Risk Rating 2.0 in federal flood insurance. This is one thorn you can snip off their sides since basically all the flood premiums' would be concerned of are things like how much flood happens in the area, what type of floods impact the property, are there flood mitigations made in the property, and how it's built like the property's foundation to name a few.

So it doesn't really matter anymore if you're selling a property that's in a high-risk flood zone since it won't these flood zones no longer have a bearing on overall flood insurance costs. It's important to note, however, that a flood insurance policy will be required by the buyer's mortgage for any/all properties that are located in a high-risk flood zone or the special flood hazard area (SFHA).

Benefits of Private Flood Insurance

Lastly, we've been covering most of these flood insurance tips for federal flood insurance, so it's due time we move to the other flood insurance option. It's not always that FEMA and NFIP are your only way to get flood insurance.

Private flood insurance has been known for providing a more convenient flood insurance policy for homeowners and business owners alike. This is mostly owed to the fact that private flood generally has cheaper flood insurance premiums.

It's also important to note that even before there was a Risk Rating 2.0 update, most private insurance companies base their rates or premiums for flood insurance on what's called a flood risk score. This flood risk score looks into multiple factors and determines the overall risk of flooding for the specific property.

READ: Risk Rating 2.0 Georgia

This is something that every realtor should know by heart because once your buyer starts shying away after seeing a quote for flood insurance from FEMA and NFIP, you can guide them to their other flood insurance option.

Things Realtors Should Know About Flood Insurance in Golden Isles, GA

Another benefit of going through private flood insurance is its coverages. When you go to federal flood insurance and the NFIP, you'll have to get coverage for at least 80% of your property. This insurance coverage from NFIP also maxes out on $250,000 for residential building coverage and can go up to $500,000 for commercial properties. Both residential and commercial properties only get $100,000 in contents or personal property coverages.

The same can't be said for private flood insurance since most of these carriers will allow you to find more flexibility for coverages. So if the property is less than $250,000, you can still have it fully covered and have your customer lower their premiums. On the other hand, this also means that there are no coverage limits, so properties that are valued at more than $250,000 (i.e. $350,000) will get full coverage.

All of these benefits can easily be provided to the property within 3 to 14 days which is a drastic difference between the strict 30-day wait period of NFIP.

As a realtor in Glynn County, Georgia, this flood insurance information is something that you should know since it may directly impact your sales. It's important to note that at least 72.8% of Glynn County's residents will see an increase in their flood insurance rates with FEMA and NFIP.

So if you have any questions on flood insurance, click below to access our Flood Learning Center.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

You can also click the picture below to call us for your flood insurance concerns.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks, flood insurance, and how these impact the real estate industry.

Rivian, an American electric vehicle automaker, and automotive technology company, already has plans underway for the development of an electric vehicles plant in Georgia. Considering that both Amazon and Ford already joined forces in order to help Rivian get a boost in the industry, these plans may be far from being canceled.

What Rivian's Electric Plant Development Mean for Flooding in Georgia?

Today, we want to talk about what impacts this type of development has on flooding for Georgia and some tips on what you need to do with your flood insurance.

Developments and Flood

First, let's look back into the overall negative impacts of urban development when it comes to flooding.

In research from 2016 from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), it's found that urbanization has a direct impact on flooding. In this research for Illinois alone, they were able to find that in a 2-year span, there's a possibility of seeing a hundred to 600 percent increase in flood peak discharge due to urbanization. This data was gathered from Mercer Creek and Salt Creek in Illinois and you should keep this in mind since it will be valuable info later.

When it comes to Georgia, a lot of development is also going on to cater to more housing and urbanization. The same could easily be said for our state. The thing about these floodings when it comes to developments and urbanization is that it simply doesn't increase flooding for high-risk flood zones only.

Generally, all those developments are causing an increase in water runoff because water has nowhere to go. Also, changing the soil that naturally sips floodwater into cement causes this issue with flooding. Most of these waters go to low-lying areas and even low-risk flood zones like Flood Zone X.

This has been proven in 2017 when research from Georgia State University (GSU) also found an increase of 26% in annual streamflow for areas that were developed or urbanized from 1986 to 2010, as well as a doubling of high-flow days for Suwanee and Big Creek.

So, how will this new electric vehicle plant impact flooding in Georgia?

Rivian's Developments

This new development for the electric vehicle plant is considered to be the largest economic development project that Georgia will see in its entire history. The development will cover about 2000 acres of land. 55% of these lands are intended for agricultural and residential zones.

Considering the scale of this planned site, it's no question that this will cause a lot of burdens when waters start to rise and rain starts to pour. We've already mentioned before how changing the natural soil to cement can cause a lot of water to have no place to go but the neighborhood. The city of Social Circle itself is creating a movement to thwart this $5-billion development plans ahead of time.

What Rivian's Electric Plant Development Mean for Flooding in Georgia?

The plant is planned to cover land across the Walton and Morgan Counties in Georgia. What is notable about these two counties when it comes to flooding is that Walton has an increased risk for roads, commercial areas, and infrastructure. This is something noteworthy because most of the fatalities we see when there's flood are located or involves road, so this could mean an increase in flooding for these locations can also present dangers for the lives of motorists.

On the other hand, Morgan county is facing more concern when it comes to flooding already as their increasing risks from moderate levels might also see some significant impacts of this development. It's notable that roads and infrastructures might move into a major risk level whereas residential, commercial, and social areas are going to move into more of a moderate risk of flooding.

Flood Insurance Protection

There's no other way out when floodwater starts inundating your property. Flooding has been considered for many years to be the most common natural disaster that happens in the United States. We might not be able to thwart these plans for the plant, but we can still ensure that we will be able to protect ourselves from the expected results of development on that scale.

Flood insurance isn't just insurance for your property but also acts as an assurance that you don't really need to worry about what gets taken by flood damage because you will definitely have coverage for it. Georgia residents can get flood insurance from either front: the federal government-backed through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or through the private flood insurance market.

What Rivian's Electric Plant Development Mean for Flooding in Georgia?

Getting this type of insurance is one of the most important things to have for a homeowner, business owner, and even renters especially in the 21st century. Nowadays, a lot of factors come into play when it comes to the increased risk and amount of flooding we're getting; not just developments and urbanization.

To learn more about flood insurance, how you might be impacted by this development in Georgia, what your flood insurance options are, or any questions about floods, click below to access our Flood Learning Center.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

You can also click here to call us, so we can talk about your flood concerns.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term.

Welcome to the second part of our two-parter blog on real estate and flood insurance in Alabama. We've covered the things you need to know as a realtor when it comes to buying a house or a property for a potential buyer. You can read our blog about it by clicking here.

Alabama Real Estate: Selling Properties in a Flood Zone

In today's blog, we want to talk about the other side of the coin and note some important things to keep in mind when selling a house.

Regardless of whether you're the homeowner or just a real estate agent, you should be aware of these things when it comes to flood insurance, flood zones, and what impacts they have on properties in Alabama.

List of Flood Claims

We've already mentioned in our previous blog that it's important to have a basic, if not in-depth, awareness of the history of flood insurance claims made on a property. This way, as a buyer, you get to find proper expectations when it comes to your flood insurance policy and its respective premium.

On the other hand, if you're the one selling the property, this goes the same. It's common courtesy for your potential buyers to be given an idea of where the current flood insurance stands especially when it comes to claims. This also gives a substantial idea of the flooding history as well. For some states, information like this is federally required to be disclosed to a buyer before closing a deal.

This can be done by requesting a list of the claims made through your insurance carrier. Retrieving claims history is a very easy process for both federal and private flood insurance. This list of claims can be requested or ordered from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

On the other hand, private insurance companies will have to be contacted by you or your real estate agent to get this list firsthand. It's important to note that the flood claims history on a property may not be readily available when you order it from private flood insurance, so it's important to keep tabs on your claims history.

Alabama Real Estate: Selling Properties in a Flood Zone

Policy Assumption

One of the key things to know when it comes to the seller-side is mostly on the policy itself. You see, you don't really have to cancel your policy once you have sold the house, it can remain and be passed on to the new owner. This option of transferring the currently active policy to the new owner (buyer) is called policy assumption.

A policy assumption or policy transfer can help you keep the current flood premium and lower-risk flood zone which in turn will also help you avoid those expensive premiums within that period. You also won't have to pay for the flood insurance premium that the policy also has – this can be discussed between you and the seller.

This way, you can make sure that you have proper protection for the new house you're buying without emptying your wallet or bank account. The policy contract will be transferred to you and you'll be the new policyholder in the eyes of FEMA once the reinsurance or renewal day kicks in.

Policy assumption or transfer in your flood insurance can really help you out if you're mapped into high-risk zones in FEMA's flood map or the flood insurance rate map (FIRM). Now, when it comes to properties or houses in that high-risk flood zones, you have to keep in mind that your mortgage lender will be very keen on requiring you to carry a policy for that property.

This mandatory flood insurance purchase can cause a hefty price since we're talking about a lot of flood insurance requirements to be secured before you can get a flood policy for the property.

So other than the higher risk of flooding, you also face a higher risk of emptying your wallet because your mortgage company really needs you to carry flood insurance for your property.

Impacts of Recent Flooding

One of the things you always have to consider when selling a house is recent natural disasters. The most common one is flooding and considering that we're already emphasizing the importance of flood claims which is a direct indication that the house has a chance of flooding.

Recent flooding, most especially, will be a key factor in selling your house and we believe the biggest concern is how much protection does your house has against flood damage and flood loss. It's important to always keep your flood mitigation measures in check in order to have a better chance of selling your home.

Alabama Real Estate: Selling Properties in a Flood Zone

Equally, FEMA is also very heavy on flood frequency when it comes to flood insurance rates. The new Risk Rating 2.0, launched on April 1st and October 1st of last year, changed the rating structure for the federal flood insurance.

One of the flood risk variables being considered by FEMA and the NFIP when rating your property's flood insurance policy is both how often the insured building gets flooded and what type of flooding it experiences. This can take a very hard hit for your selling strategy as most buyers would shy away from flood-prone houses.

As a realtor, it's important that you are aware of this as well, if not an expert when it comes to it. A lot of potential buyers get frustrated when they get surprised about this requirement, so as a realtor it's best you let them know ahead of time.

When it comes to selling properties, you really want to help your buyer consider what the flood risk is and the chance of flooding. Some states like Texas actually require realtors and sellers to fully disclose the flood history and claims on a property, but regardless it wouldn't really hurt being transparent about these things. After all, we're talking about the safety of someone moving into a residential property.

If you've got any questions on a flood policy, the flood zone status of the property you're looking to buy, how the floodplain impacts flood zones, or anything related to floods, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer these questions.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

You can also call us if you need a second opinion from a flood insurance agent when it comes to your purchase of a property by clicking below.

a person wearing a hat

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, real estate selling and buying, and mitigating your property's value long-term.