Another hurricane had made its landfall on the southeastern parts of the United States however this time around, Texas and Louisiana might be the first to experience the impacts of Hurricane Nicholas as we move through the week.

How Will Hurricane Nicholas Impact Texas and Louisiana?

Join us as we unpack how Hurricane Nicholas will impact the southeastern United States and what this could mean considering that these coastal zones, especially Louisiana are still recovering from Hurricane Ida last week.

Enter Hurricane Nicholas

Hurricane Nicholas started out as a typical hurricane however the good news is that it downgraded to a less dangerous tropical storm as it made landfall earlier today, September 14th, 2021. The tropical storm made landfall on coastal Texas with 70 MPH winds according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Tropical storm warnings are everywhere in both Texas and Louisiana.

At the time of writing, northwest Harris County (Texas) is receiving about 1 to 3 inches of rain since the tropical storm made landfall.

However, this doesn't really eliminate the threats when we start to talk about an estimate of 20 inches of rain getting dumped on coastal Texas and the state of Louisiana. It's important to highlight that these two states were in the hot seat of flooding earlier this year.

We need not look further than a few weeks ago when Hurricane Ida made landfall on New Orleans causing massive power outages, devastating casualties, and millions of damages from Louisiana, New York, Tenessee, and towards the eastern coast.

How Will Hurricane Nicholas Impact Texas and Louisiana?

READ MORE:
Hurricane Ida Impacts in Louisiana, Hurricane Ida Floods New York

Despite this downgrade, we're still talking about the extremely high risks of flood especially in Louisiana and Texas since a lot of factors are just waiting to cause flooding in these areas without any warning once that heavy rains and continuous rainfall start.

What To Expect

When it comes to this type of situation, the biggest threat that Louisiana and Texas will face will be that flash flood. The Southeastern parts of the country are still recovering from all that rainfall and flooding from Hurricane Ida.

This simply means that the ground is still oversaturated with all that water that Tropical Storm Nicholas' heavy rains will be like water hitting hard cement. A lot of overflows might happen with these circumstances given.

How Will Hurricane Nicholas Impact Texas and Louisiana?

You also have a storm surge warning in place in Port Aransas to San Luis Pass including Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, and Matagorda Bay. Once that water comes in from the coasts, not only the properties in flood zone V will be impacted.

Flash flooding will also be a big problem as the tropical storm adds up to the hurricane season causing more saturation from the ground. Inland bodies of water might also rise significantly.

It's important to highlight that even when that heavy rainfall stops, rivers, lakes, streams, and creeks will continuously collect all that water and rise in a span of a couple of days. This effect is sure to create life-threatening flash floods along the coasts even without massive storm surges coming in.

How To Best Prepare

We've covered a lot about how important it is to have flood insurance. This is basically the heart and soul of our company since this is the only best protection one can get when a flood threat is present in your area.

The thing is a lot of property owners still think that not sitting in a flood zone means that they won't get flooded. Water doesn't know where one flood zone ends and another starts which we've seen happen in the entire state of New York.

How Will Hurricane Nicholas Impact Texas and Louisiana?

READ MORE:
Texas Spring Flooding, Baton Rouge Spring Flooding

You can always secure flood insurance through the government which has fewer restrictions and caters to all types of property through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) with a $250,000 coverage for residential properties and $100,000 when it comes to personal properties.

It's important to note that when it comes to the NFIP, those coverages max at the aforementioned amount regardless of your flood zone. This is very different when it comes to private flood insurance carriers which do not have any coverage limits, so you can tailor-fit your coverage depending on your discretion.

Lastly, we want everyone to be safe in this type of weather since no one can really predict when a disaster might happen. If there is a risk of flash flooding detailed by flash flood warning issued by the NWS, we encourage that you follow these to avoid any injury or casualty.

If you want to know more about flood insurance, how to buy flood insurance through FEMA or the private market, or anything about flooding, reach out to us by clicking below.

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

Hurricane Ida recently made landfall on Louisiana with catastrophic winds of 150 mph. Ida was initially a tropical cyclone as it makes its way through Cuba last Friday, August 27. However, Ida immediately escalated to a Category-4 hurricane as it travels across the Gulf of Mexico and bound to Louisiana. As soon as Hurricane Ida made landfall, there was an immediate drop in temperatures, storms, and heavy rain was dumped on Louisiana, and communities were left without power.

How Climate Change Makes Hurricanes Worse

Today, we want to talk about how hurricanes like Ida are impacted by climate change and what it's changing flood insurance.

Climate Change

It's important to note that climate change impacts how extreme weather events can become. We were able to discuss this on our previous blog which you can read by clicking here.

This devastating climate event is also changing how what was used to be minor hurricanes, now becoming more catastrophic and overnight tropical storms can transform into major hurricanes as we've seen with Ida. Generally, this is due to how it's directly impacting the weather, overall sea level, and surface temperatures of water from our oceans.

In 2019, Hurricane Dorian hit the country with the second strongest landfall with 185 mph. In 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall at 180 mph and Hurricane Maria also had 165 mph when the hurricane made landfall in the same year. This is generally due to rising ocean temperatures that fuel stronger North Atlantic Hurricanes.

How Climate Change Makes Hurricanes Worse

You see, as our climate becomes warmer, minor tropical storms also get powered by this heat and you can even say that it's like turning it up to eleven. Additionally, warmer waters also create more frequent and consistent heavy rainfall as water vapor is easily condensing into rain clouds due to that extra heat. As we've seen just this year, heavier rainfall and torrential rains can easily create devastating floods.

Earlier this year, we've seen areas like Baton Rouge in Louisiana, Nashville and Waverly in Tennessee, Monett in Missouri, and multiple areas in Alabama get about 7 to 15 inches of rain at a given time only to cause massive flooding and, at most time, deadly flash floods in these areas. 

How Climate Change Makes Hurricanes Worse

Flood Insurance Impacts

When it comes to flood insurance, especially federal flood insurance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), these types of considerations aren't made until the coming Fall season this year.

in the current version of the NFIP, one of the big determiners of flood risk and rates are mostly things such as flood zones, elevation, and history of flood data like claims. Honestly, this doesn't really address the actual flood risks of property owners and the overall population. Let's say that Property Owner A is not in a flood zone and Property Owner B is in a flood zone.

This creates a massive confusion between these two property owners as the former would not get insurance thinking that they won't need it "because they're not in a high-risk flood zone". However, we have proven true that these zone designations will never represent the overall flood risk of a property.

You can be outside of a flood zone, but if global warming suddenly melts all the snow from winter and starts to oversaturate the ground, rainwater will have nowhere to go other than these low-lying areas. Even small amounts of rain in given this type of situation, that water from precipitation — heavy precipitation or otherwise — can be enough to cause floods.

Sometimes since these floods have strong currents due to it naturally wanting to flow into low-lying areas, the flood damage is all increased significantly. Yes, even low-risk flood zones will be impacted.

The NFIP Risk Rating 2.0

This changes with the new Risk Rating 2.0 program which measures flood insurance rates based on the flood risk score. The Risk Rating 2.0 will easily measure how these types of flood risks from the ever-changing climate since it will start to look into the types of floods your property is receiving, how frequent floods happen in your area, and distance to any body of water.

The Risk Rating 2.0 program will also focus on flood insurance data that your property has when it comes to determining your rates or premiums. All of these will fall into what's called a flood risk score. Here are the things that are staying the same and the new things that will determine your rates with FEMA and NFIP:

Things that are staying the same:

The new things that will come with the Risk Rating 2.0 are as follows:

  • Types of floods that your property experience. This can be either a pluvial flood, fluvial flood, and coastal flood.
  • First-floor height and elevation of the structure. A new feature that determines your flood risk score is the distance between the ground (grade) from your first floor or the first habitable floor of your property.
  • Flood Risk Mitigation Measures made on the property. Is the lowest floor above the base flood elevation? Are there enough flood openings to let floodwaters through?

How Climate Change Makes Hurricanes Worse

The impacts of climate change are something that we will never control and is already irreversible. However, we shouldn't focus on the things outside of our control, but on the things that we have power on such as preparing ourselves from these impacts on floods, tornadoes, tide storm, storm surge, hurricane strength by protecting ourselves from these impacts.

If you want to know more on how to get flood insurance, what is the Risk Rating 2.0, what your flood risk score is, click below to reach out.

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

We're sinking deeper into the hurricane and storm season. We've seen how much a consistent amount of heavy rainfall can easily increase water levels regardless if it's a high-risk flood zone or a low-risk area.

Ida Aims Louisiana: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina

Today, we want to cover recent development from the National Hurricane Center about another possible major hurricane closing in New Orleans and Louisiana in general, Hurricane Ida. Considering that just earlier this year, Baton Rouge and its community were devastated by an extreme flooding event.

We want to help you understand how to set your expectations right about this storm event, what the government is expecting to do about it, what we've learned from Hurricane Katrina, and how to save yourself from the possible impacts of rain and flood the areas impacted especially New Orleans city.

If you want to read more on the upcoming changes to flood insurance, you can click here to read our Risk Rating 2.0 update for the state of Louisiana.

Ida Closes In

Louisiana is still recovering from the aftermath of the major storm, rain, or hurricane from last year. With this in mind, Governor John Bel Edwards immediately declared a state of emergency for the state as a major hurricane seems to have ideas of slamming the state after leaving Cuba on Friday.

According to AP News, the National Hurricane Center predicted Ida would strengthen into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane, with maximum winds of 140 mph (225 KPH) before making landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast late Sunday. The National Weather Service meteorologist Benjamin Schott even said that Hurricane Ida can be a life-altering event for those who aren't prepared for its impacts. We want everyone to participate in this emergency preparedness and emergency response. This time, hurricane preparations aren't just in the hands of emergency responders.

Ida Aims Louisiana: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina

Consequentially, the mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, gave out an emergency declaration for a mandatory evacuation for a small area in the city outside of the levee system. However, the mayor can't say the same for the whole city due to the lack of time.

This is why it's encouraged for the city sitting beside the Mississippi River to prepare themselves for any possible outcome of Tropical Storm Ida: be it catastrophic flooding via flash floods, huge amounts of rain, and unfathomably strong winds.

The state of Louisiana is doing everything it can with the help of emergency officials creating a concrete emergency game plan for the upcoming hurricane.

What We've Learned from Katrina

The expected date of Hurricane Ida landing in Louisiana is coincidentally going to be in the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Since these two hurricanes seem to be a clone of one another, it's best to look at the lessons learned from this massive hurricane event from 16 years ago.

Ida Aims Louisiana: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina

Levees and Pump Repairs

One of the catalysts for the massive flooding during Hurricane Katrina was the failure of the levees. About 50 levees failed to protect New Orleans from floodwaters. In the research done by Tulane University, this was mostly due to erosion and overtopping. The failures of the overall engineering were then improved on 55 levees to ensure that no breach will ever occur in a future event.

It's important to keep in our thoughts that due to this levee failure, an estimated number of more than 1000 people lost their lives along with the billions of losses in damages.

Ida Aims Louisiana: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina

Rebuilding New Orleans

With the help of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a lot of houses that were rebuilt followed some guidelines in order to prepare throughout any hurricane season. This includes how some property owners installed flood mitigation efforts on their homes like flood openings, elevating the house when it was being rebuilt, and making sure that the right foundation is established against floods.

This didn't mean that everyone got back on their feet as even now — sixteen years after hurricane Katrina — Louisiana and the city of New Orleans are still recovering from the damages brought about by Hurricane Katrina and another flooding in more recent times.

Ida Aims Louisiana: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina

Flood Insurance Changes

One of the biggest things that we've learned from Hurricane Katrina as well as other major weather events like heavy rain, historic winter storm, dangerous storm surge, and things like that is how the flood insurance industry responded. This response came in the form of the new National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Risk Rating 2.0 Program.

This new program is aiming down its sight that everyone understands their risk of flooding and its impacts on people. There are a lot of new factors that will come into play when it comes to flood insurance and flood zones will only be from a regulatory standpoint. Many property owners get mislead by flood zones when it comes to the flood threats to them.

There are also many cases where a homeowner doesn't have flood insurance because they're in a low-risk flood zone. This Risk Rating 2.0 change can really help people understand that being in a low-risk flood zone doesn't mean you're in a no-risk flood zone.

It's important that we understand how floodwaters work, not just in general but also in their own specific area. Let's take Louisiana and New Orleans for example. Since most of the state is directly sitting on the coast, the federal government will start to rate you based on the types of flood you're getting and how frequent flooding is in your area.

In this way, it's easy to say that things like how prone your property is when it comes to life-threatening will also come into play when it comes to your rates with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NFIP. 

Education, Awareness, and Preparedness

Regardless of these efforts made through the things we've learned, we still encourage residents of New Orleans and Louisiana to not hesitate if Hurricane Ida might be detrimental to you. It's easy to say that we'll survive it until we can't. We encourage you to make sure that you have the right protection through flood insurance, follow emergency evacuations, and ensure that you, your family, and your property are safe from any possible outcome.

We've witnessed just this quarter how some inches of rain can cause life-threatening flash floods across the country and at the end of the day, being educated, aware, and making sure that you'll also act on what you know will be your saving grace.

If you have any questions on flood insurance, what the Risk Rating 2.0 covers, what your options are in Louisiana, or anything about flood, click below to contact us.

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

Be safe out there, Louisiana.

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Spring seems to be very far from keeping the rainy season from the locals of Baton Rouge in Louisiana. Today, we want to talk about the flooding that happened on May 17 (Monday) over at Baton Rouge, its impacts on the residents, and what it can mean for your flood insurance.

Rainfall and Flooding in Red Stick

It's been a long night in Baton Rouge as a slow-moving rainstorm dumped 10-12 inches of rain before midnight even struck. This in turn immediately prompted the National Weather Service (NWS) to declare a flash flood emergency across Ascension, Iberville, Livingston, and East Baton Rouge.

This caused the I-10 eastbound to be closed past Siegen Lane due to the standing water that inundated the highway. Speaking of flooded roads, fire departments had to respond to a number of water rescues for people who drove into high water.

This caused about 7000 locals to also face huge power outages. At the time of writing, the flooding extended to the early morning of Tuesday (May 18), so we're still waiting for the official damages that this flooding brought Baton Rouge, and considering the constant threat of flood, this event may still be extended.

Now, let's talk about things that you really need to know about your flood insurance in times like this.

Louisiana Flood Insurance

At the time of writing, we're looking at the state of Louisiana under threat of the upcoming low-pressure and storm systems, and at times like this, you want to make sure that you get your flood insurance in place and know how to really use it for the best when it comes to protecting and repairing your property from flood damage.

We want to talk about what to do before, during, and after flooding happens, so that you can maximize what coverages your policy is going to offer you regardless of it being from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or private insurers.

Loss Avoidance

It's important to note that Baton Rouge flood insurance policyholders can go through loss avoidance. Now, this is one of the things that people forget that they have on their flood policies, but this can really help you reduce the impact of floodings significantly.

Loss avoidance is a coverage that goes up to $1000 and this helps the insured to get coverage for the expenses of getting sandbags, fills for temporary levees, securing water pumps, and even the labor that goes into making these things be a part of your flood preparation. In times like this, preparing for an imminent flood that can happen any time can help you avoid damages or at least reduce it significantly.

Don't File that Flood Claim!

Stop! Don't you want to know why we discourage filing that flood claim immediately at times like this? Well, let's unpack what happens after you file these claims.

Now, generally, I'd recommend that whenever you file your flood claim since you just had flooding in your area, you want to make sure that it's at least $10,000 in damages to make sure that you get the best out of it. If it's really not that significant of damage or maybe less than $5000, $10000, you might want to hold off on filing that flood insurance claim and strategize with your insurance agent first.

Filing a flood insurance claim will grant you the coverages written on your policy however at the same time this can put your property in a bad light since there's something that's called a severe repetitive loss (SRL), sometimes known simply as repetitive loss, property list.

It's important to remember that, unlike other insurance claims, flood claims stay on the property's history forever. This is why a property that files for more than one flood claim in the last ten years will immediately be marked as a repetitive loss property.

When you get into this list, you'd expect your flood insurance premiums to go up especially if you decide to not agree with or failed to do the strict flood mitigation efforts from FEMA. This also drastically hurts the resell value of the property because you don't want to buy a very flood-prone property, right?

Flood Insurance Options

Lastly, we want to talk about your flood insurance options. If you aren't impacted by this recent flooding then it's good enough of a reason for you to make sure that you ensure that you have a flood policy taking effect on your property at all times.

The NFIP

Louisiana is a part of the participating communities in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) from FEMA. This means that you get access to the federal flood insurance, disaster aid, and disaster grants that FEMA and the federal government provides. 

This means that Baton Rouge locals that go through FEMA get the coverages from the NFIP that maxes to $250,000 in property or building coverages and $100,000 for contents or the items inside the listed building. However, unless there's a presidential declaration additional living expenses and loss of use won't be provided in your standard National Flood Insurance Program policy. There are also no replacement costs with federal flood insurance.

FloodSmart | Flood Preparation and What To Do After A Flood

Since Baton Rouge is a participating community, depending on your Community Rating System (CRS) score, you're legible to get discounts on flood insurance premiums of up to 40%. With flood insurance premiums averaging $750 in Baton Rouge, it means that you get to have your rates go down to $450.

If you're looking to get a policy from the NFIP, it's important to note that you're going to have to follow the 30-day waiting period before your policy can take effect on your listed property.

The Private Flood

We also have to consider that if the NFIP coverages don't really fit what you and your property need, you can get flood insurance from private insurers.

The private flood insurance market is becoming more popular across the country and one of the possible reasons is that it has significantly lower premiums. In Baton Rouge, the average rates from FEMA are about $700 to $800 but in the private market, this can go down to an average of $300 to $400. 

Coverages in private flood can be more than $250,000 for property coverage and more than $100,000 since they don't have those max limits compared to FEMA. Private flood also includes additional living expenses, replacement costs, and loss of use. All of these coverages can take effect within 15 days and some carriers we know can actually write you a policy within the day.

We're going deeper into the eye of the storm seasons, per se. It's pretty normal to expect a lot of rainfall, hailstorms, and flooding which is why you should know how to best protect yourself from these damages. We may not be able to stop these from happening, but we can be sure to prepare how to recover from it.

If you have questions on the flooding that happened in Baton Rouge this week, flood insurance options, or anything about flood, reach out to us.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation and we want to share this to help you protect your property's value long term. Click the links below to call us, get a quote for your flood insurance, or visit our YouTube channel for your daily dose of flood education videos.

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