It's been cold then hot and going back in forth with the bad weather day moments we have in the country. Most parts of the country are still recovering from Hurricane Ida and major areas were devastated by strong winds and widespread flooding.

How Will The Caldor Fire Impact Flooding in California?

Today, we want to talk about the recent wildfire event in California that the National Incident Management and Cal Fire are still trying to resolve, how this will impact future floods in the impacted areas and counties, and what these wildfires can mean for floods. We will also discuss how this will impact Lake Tahoe despite being spared from the Caldor Fire.

Flames after the Storm

As we were moving past Hurricane Ida, extreme weather patterns show its impacts as California was hit by a massive wildfire event in the middle of August as yet to be determined cause started the fast-moving Caldor Fire at South Lake Tahoe and spread towards El Dorado and Amador Counties. This prompted President Joe Biden to declare a state of emergency for California 

About 220,000 acres of land were engulfed by the Caldor Fire prompting mandatory evacuation measures. At the time of writing, good news came to residents as the evacuation orders were lifted for the entire west area of the Caldor Fire such as Sly Park, Pollock Pines, and Grizzly Flat. The east zone of the state is expecting to get minimal to moderate fire behavior.

How Will The Caldor Fire Impact Flooding in California?

However, it's important to note that the fire is still active for 24 days now with only 50% estimated containment. More than 50,000 people remain evacuated due throughout the region, including into Nevada and at least 664 structures have been destroyed including at least 482 single homes, 11 commercial properties, and 171 other minor structures. The damage assessments continue at the time of writing, so we really don't have an accurate damage report yet.

As the Caldor Fire slows, three new wildfires erupt causing red flag warnings for portions of central Oregon and central northern California. We also have to take into writing that the Dixie Fire scorched more than 900,000 acres across five counties in Northern California since its genesis on July 14.

We hope that everyone will be safe especially in the areas like Amador County, Douglas County, and Placer County in Nevada. If you receive any evacuation warnings, don't hesitate to go to an evacuation center. Please be safe and take care.

The Irony of the Spared Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe was spared from the Caldor Fire however this actually presents an ironic situation when it comes to natural disasters. We've previously talked about the impacts of wildfires, such as the Gatlinburg Fire (Tennessee) in 2016, and other disasters when it comes to natural disasters, and the Caldor Fire won't be different.

Now that a lot of that forest became ashes and the ground that once held it is now scorched, it's very likely that when rain gets dump in the area during cooler weather, it will cause a lot of flooding for California. Forests are one of the best natural protections we have against flood water and since they're no longer in the equation, there's nothing getting between that water and your property. The Caldor Fire was huge enough that it started the haze obscured both the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco skyline on August 18.

Areas like El Dorado County, Alpine County, Amador County, and Douglas County are also prone to flash flooding, mudflows, landslides, and mudslides once a sufficient amount of rain gets dumped on this area.

How Will The Caldor Fire Impact Flooding in California?

The biggest issue with scorched land like this is that the ground itself might not be able to sustain any form of vegetation to contain water from rain, if not floods. The ground impacted by both the Caldor Fire and Dixie Fire might not see any green leaves anytime soon. Once that rain hits, it's like water hitting cement. It will go nowhere, but down.

The lifting of evacuation orders doesn't really address the flood that may come after and even Lake Tahoe was spared from the Caldor Fire, once the lake starts to rise it's most likely that the first area we'll see a lot of water is on the South Lake Tahoe and other low-lying areas impacted by the fire.

The thing is only floods and mudflows will be covered by your flood insurance policy. The fire itself, mudslides, and/or landslides will be covered by another policy. We encourage everyone to put safety and your insurance as the biggest priority during these times. We've seen how unpredictably dangerous weather conditions are this year alone.

How Will The Caldor Fire Impact Flooding in California?

Safety First

There's no telling what can happen next and it may sound contradicting, but floods might come any time soon for these impacted areas and nearby communities to the Caldor Fire. As containment efforts continue in the region, we want should be sure to make sure we have enough coverage from our insurance policies when disaster strikes.

If you have questions on flood insurance, how are wildfires cover by your flood insurance policy, or anything about flood, reach out to us by clicking below:

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

Buy Flood Insurance Now!

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks like the ones that wildfires present, your flood insurance policy, and mitigating your property long-term.

Be safe, be alert, and eureka, California.

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.

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

Buy Flood Insurance Now!

Contact Us

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.

The times have been changing and if we look at the world around us, we may see some things that shouldn't be like that. If we look at how weather patterns have drastically changed and natural disasters becoming more severe, we can see that there's something wrong with the planet. That's what we want to cover today, we want to understand climate change and global warming, how are they different, and their impacts on our planet.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Climate Change and Global Warming

Climate Change

First, it's important to preface that climate change is not a synonym for global warming. Climate change is a phenomenon that scientists have been looking into even 200-years ago. They were looking into how our activities impact the climate of the Earth. It took them about a hundred years before even arriving at evidence that suggests a link between the two.

Climate change, as the name would show, is the drastic global or regional changes to climate patterns. Now, it's important that you don't confuse weather with climate. Climate is the collective weather conditions that an area experiences in a long period of time whereas weather is just how the day or maybe the week will be (like situations where we say today is sunny, rainy, or cloudy). Climate is more concerned with the prevailing weather conditions over the course of the next three months or maybe the whole year.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Climate Change and Global Warming

Climate change includes global warming but also concerns itself with the drastic weather changes other Earth being too warm. We can look at what happened in Texas earlier this year, where the state had severe winter storms or Egypt receiving snow due to the cold snap in 2013. 

Generally, climate change is blamed to be caused by the significant rise of greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution and the modern age. These are gases we release every day from smoking to car emissions and large industrial factories releasing the smoke as a byproduct of making their products.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Climate Change and Global Warming

Global Warming

Global warming on the other hand, as the name would show, is the overall drastic and continuous warming of the Earth. This is one of the impacts of Climate Change. See, when we say global warming isn't a synonym of climate change, it's because global warming is one of the effects of climate change.

As the planet heats up, we can see a rapid rise in sea levels and this isn't just because there's a hurricane, but in a more permanent sense of the change regardless of the amount of rain. This in turn can cause a huge threat of storm surge and flooding in coastal areas because seawater can easily get through the land.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Climate Change and Global Warming

Global warming is also a catalyst for more severe storms and rainfall, especially for the United States. As we get over the winter season and its colder temperatures, the sudden surge of significantly warm air brings devastating rainfall, storms, and worse hurricanes when cold winter air clashes with the upcoming warm spring season

Global warming's unnatural levels of heat also melt — at an abnormally fast rate — the ice and snow from Winter which presents the constant threat of flash flooding in areas close to these once-frozen bodies of water.  This is what we commonly refer to as spring runoff.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Climate Change and Global Warming

Both climate change and its effect on global warming are the biggest threat when it comes to the natural response of Earth to natural disasters. Due to severe wildfires taking down trees that protect us from flooding, landslides, and mudslides, but this didn't come naturally.

What Caused It?

It's often mentioned that the climate change we're experiencing is the result of our actions as humans. Yes, there's a natural way that climate change can happen, but the impacts of these are smaller and short-term compared to the long-term and huge impacts that manmade climate change is bringing.

Numerous factors contribute to greenhouse gases known as the greenhouse effect. One of the biggest causes is because we're burning a lot of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas to power everything we need like cars or other transportation, and daily energy uses like electricity and heat. These fossil fuels we're burning actually contributed about 80% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. All the abandoned oil and gas wells that are now leaking produce more methane than initially estimated that which contributes to 20% of annual methane emissions

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Climate Change and Global Warming

We can also look at deforestation and wildfires taking down trees that naturally help us fight these gases. Brazil, last year, reached an increase of almost 10% on deforestation. This became the highest level since 2008 and caused even more severe forest fires that further take down trees in the area.

Climate change is the biggest hurdle we're facing when it comes to preserving the state of Earth. We always talk about preserving the value of your property long-term by protecting it from flood damage, but it can only go so far. When faced with bigger, more volatile, and violent floodings, even the best flood mitigation efforts might not be able to handle it.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Climate Change and Global Warming

We should also do our part in helping fight this climate crisis, so we also avoid severe natural disasters which only become worse each year. If you have any questions on global warming, climate change, how this can impact flood insurance, how this can worsen flood events across the country, or anything about flood, reach out to us.

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation and we want to help protect you and your property against flood loss long term. Click the links below to know more, get a quote to protect yourself from flooding, and visit our YouTube channel for our daily flood education videos.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294   Get Your Quote from Flood Insurance Guru    The Flood Insurance Guru | Chris Greene | YouTube