Hurricane Ida is getting closer to about to leave, but it won't leave quietly.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

At the time of writing, the remnants of Ida caused New York City to receive their first flood warning. At least 8 people are already confirmed dead due to this terrible weather we're getting from the hurricane and this flood warning is a testament that the impacts of any hurricane can come from many ends, not just rain.

Today, we want to talk about what this could mean for flood insurance, how to best prepare and protect yourself from any flooding damage caused by Hurricane Ida.

The Empire State

The concrete jungle of New York City is currently holding on tight as its streets are starting to get inundated by floodwater. A flood warning was issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) earlier today to give a heads up as there is an expected rainfall amount of at least 3-6 inches of rain.

NBC New York (NBC News) reports that 6 people are already confirmed dead in New York just yesterday and this number is still going up. It's no surprise that the NWS has declared multiple flash flood warnings across New York and New Jersey.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

Among the other deaths reported in New York City, a 48-year-old woman and a 66-year-old man died after being found at separate residences, and a 43-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man both died after being found inside a home. This also includes a 19-year-old man who was found dead in Montgomery County. Causes of death and identifications are yet to be announced. 

Police in New York City reported seven deaths, including a 50-year-old man, a 48-year-old woman, and a 2-year-old boy who were found unconscious and unresponsive late Wednesday inside a home according to Providence Journal.

Subway lines also had to shut down due to this weather event and a lot of commuters were stranded for a good while. Twitter is equally flooded with videos of locals showing the heavy flooding inundating cars. Subway Riders also posted videos showing that they had to stand on their seats in cars filled with floodwater.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

All throughout this week, we've been covering a lot about the impacts of Hurricane Ida when it made landfall on Louisiana and caused brutal flooding. After that, we also saw areas in Virginia also face the impacts of Ida just a couple of days ago as a small town in Waverly gets washed away by this weather event.

As of now, a flash flood emergency is declared for the Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), Western Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond (Staten Island), and Southern Westchester areas in New York as heavy rains are still expected.

New York Flood Insurance

This hurricane hitting the northeast may be impactful when it comes to flood insurance as this proves that given the perfect cocktail of conditions, any place can flood. As we're fast approaching October 1st where the new Risk Rating 2.0 program will start to take place it's important to keep in mind some changes in federal flood insurance that may be impacted by this weather event.

As the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is about to take on a new face when it comes to flood insurance, we should also start seeing the big changes when it comes to understanding flood risks. At our current federal flood insurance program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) doesn't really consider things like climate change and the nature of floods when it comes to their rating system.

Now, we'll start seeing a deeper look into the fingerprint of New York properties' flood risk. Each homeowner will be able to experience the same "equity in action" as FEMA pushes through with this new program. This simply means that property owners are rated based on multiple flood risk variables, which most of the time aren't the same as your neighbors.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

It's equally important to be ready once the flood insurance rate map (FIRM) or flood maps start to change to address this type of flooding incident across New York. Although with the Risk Rating 2.0, the flood zone determination is only needed from a regulatory standpoint, it still is crucial to find the time to understand your risk better.

It may not be a tornado, storm, or flood that will surprise you, but your flood premiums blowing of the roof can really catch you off guard when it comes to these changes with the NFIP.

Equally, this also impacts people who are getting flood insurance from private insurance carriers. If you were to file a claim with your private carrier for the flooding you receive, it's not impossible that you might not get flood insurance from them again since you have had a successful claim in the last 5 years.

Hurricane Ida also showed some of the lapses in understanding how floods work. Looking at New York, one can say that it's not really a flood-prone area in recent years however this doesn't ring true now that we've seen how one hurricane can start severe flooding — even torrential rains can be enough to start major flooding in the area.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

How To Best Prepare

The first thing that we want to remind people is to not ignore flash flood emergency warnings issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). I was scrolling through a tweet on Twitter when I saw a bunch of replies saying that they don't need to worry about all these floods because they're living on the fourteenth floor and things like that. However, water doesn't know the time and when to stop.

You can use your weather app on the phone to check how it's going with or without a hurricane. This also gives you enough visibility for your entire city. Maybe even Spider-Man and Captain America use these apps to get up-to-date.

A lot of people might say that they didn't have enough time to prepare for the possible catastrophic damage that hurricanes and floods can cause, but I digress. Let's all keep in mind that once that hurricane season starts, once winter ends and spring starts, or once rainfall is expected to drop on your area, floods may — most times will surely — follow. Water doesn't know time and flood zones so be safe out there.

If you have questions on flood insurance, how Hurricane Ida will impact flood insurance, what role does time really plays in flood insurance, or anything about floods, click below to reach us:

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

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Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term. You too can be prepared when events like this happen.

When it comes to flood, especially in this current hurricane season we're having, there's never enough time. Never enough time to really react when that water starts rushing in and since we're talking about properties that are mostly big stuff like houses, mobile homes, stores, and things like that, you can't really move these things into a higher area.

Southwest Virginia Flood: Water Doesn't Know Time

Today, we want to address the recent flooding in the southwestern areas of Virginia which already devastated 20 homes and led to one person missing at the time of writing. We also want to address how we can best prepare and make the most of our time before that flood starts to happen.

Hurricane Ida Hits Virginia

Recent predictions of the path of Hurricane Ida — once tropical storm Ida that immediately escalated to a category-4 hurricane within a 24-hour period as it made landfall in Louisiana — said that the rainfall amount and wind strength would start to subside as it goes deeper into the country. However, this doesn't mean that there's no longer a chance of flood.

Just yesterday, Governor Jim Justice had to declare a state of emergency for 55 counties in West Virginia due to the consistent threat of hurricane Ida on the county. It was the best move as we've seen how much impact even a relatively small amount of rainfall can create. This state of emergency declaration only means that any flood warning will continuously be up since the flood risk is due to the rain.

NOTE: This state of emergency declaration won't be able to get you additional living expenses through the federal government since the president of the United States can only grant that coverage. 

Southwest Virginia Flood: Water Doesn't Know Time

Buchanan County, VA — earlier, a small community in Buchanan County faced an epic flood that caused substantial flood damage to homes, trailers, and other properties. This is after receiving additional rainfall of more than 5 inches as Martinsville Bulletin reports. As we've mentioned at least 20 homes were wiped out by this flood event and 1 person is currently missing as per reports.

This event was shy of three days from the recent flooding and mudslides that happened over at Hurley, Virginia. This is after 3 to 6 inches of rain fell down which impacted areas like Guesses Fork, Paw Paw, and Race Fork.

The floods that are happening in Southwest Virginia are remnants of Hurricane Ida, but the damages would show you that there's a different story about this. One where the moral lesson is that water doesn't know time and will not follow our schedules. We've seen what catastrophic floods can leave in their wake, so how do you protect yourself from these types of situations?

Insurance, Awareness, Preparedness, and Education

When it comes to flood insurance, it's a very easy process compared to how much it can save you when it comes to any type of flood: flash flood, coastal flood, floods due to tides, and things like that. The main concerning fact about flood insurance is many property owners, even those in coastal counties, don't buy flood insurance because they're "not in a flood zone".

We always have to keep in mind that all flood zones get flooded. This is regardless of being in low-risk flood zones, like Flood Zone X, and high-risk flood zones also known as the special flood hazard area (SFHA) like Flood Zone A. Generally, these zones just determine the chance of flooding in a floodplain.

One of the biggest changes to federal flood insurance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is what's called a Risk Rating 2.0. The new Risk Rating 2.0 program will address flood zones only as a regulatory standard whether or not you'll need to carry mandatory flood insurance with your property.

This is a great change because nowadays with climate change flood zones don't really determine how much flood you'll get. We've how larger floods came into low-risk zones because of heavy rainfall, how major storms easily increase flood levels as rivers, river basins, streams, or lakes receive water.

The Risk Rating 2.0 will address your property's unique individual flood risks through what's called a "flood risk score" system. This is measured by looking into multiple flood risk variables of your property such as:

In these times of intense storms which can really cause a lot of catastrophic damage through strong gusts of wind and creating flood magnitudes that can cause massive property damage, you want to make the most of a flood warning or flood watch imposed by the federal government.

One of the biggest enemies when it comes to natural disasters like this isn't the storm causing storm flooding, an active rainfall event increasing water levels, or inches of rain causing flash floods. The biggest thorn to our side when it comes to floods is the lack of preparation.

We hope that Virginia and its residents are safe. If you have any questions on flood insurance, how to see your flood risk, or if you want to file a flood claim, 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 your flood risks, 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.

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.

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, 2021, the same day 16 years ago that Katrina made landfall. The storm just might throw another vicious punch at the Ohio Valley area as it looks to bring flooding to an already heavy hit area.

How Will Hurricane Ida Impact Western Tennessee and Kentucky?

We've already talked about the possible results of Hurricane Ida on Louisiana and what approaches the state and the federal government made sure they did to ensure that something like Hurricane Katrina won't happen this year. If you want to read on that blog, click here so you can know more about this hurricane.

Today, we want to focus on the threats of Ida to western Tennessee and Kentucky, not only when it comes to flood, but also the general impact of this weather event on the two states.

Tennessee

The Volunteer State is in the hot seat — should we say wet one — when it comes to this type of weather event. Not a week ago, a small town in Humphreys County was devastated with a huge amount of flooding due to continuous rainfall and this caused a lot of troubling numbers to come up. At least 17 inches of rain was dumped on Humphreys County and Waverly alone. This easily led to very grim results as, unfortunately, this took the lives of at least 22 people and about 50 are still missing.

How Will Hurricane Ida Impact Western Tennessee and Kentucky?

Earlier this year, we also saw Nashville find itself in shambles during the Spring season overwhelmed the city, and caused flooding due to torrential rains. Franklin had at least 9 inches of rain throughout the two-day period of the heavy rain. The floods were caused mostly by pluvial factors where the already-oversaturated soil was no longer in shape to suck in more water and lead to immense flash floods. You also have to take into account the rising of the Cumberland River due to the continuous heavy rainfall. Sadly, this flash flood event also took 9 lives in its wake.

At the time of writing, News Channel 5 reported that a lot of threats of flash flooding will be brought about by this Storm Level 5 weather event across Tennessee. This immediately prompted a flash flood watch that was issued earlier today and will expire on Wednesday, September 1st. Aside from flash floods, you also have to watch out for possible catastrophic wind gusts and tornadoes as Ida continues its course.

How Will Hurricane Ida Impact Western Tennessee and Kentucky?

It's not absurd to think that what happened back in March will repeat itself. We're expecting a very strong hurricane with Ida and it's important that you have the right protection against floods, tornadoes, or even strong winds if you live in Tennessee. If you are inclined to evacuate, make sure that you don't leave your property unprotected and ensure that you take only the safest routes as we overcome this storm.

If you want to know more about flood insurance in Tennessee especially concerning the new National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Risk Rating 2.0, CLICK HERE to check out our blog for it.

Kentucky

Although news and other reports say that when it comes to Kentucky, Hurricane Ida would have already lowered its intensity in comparison to the Category-4 hurricane that the state of Louisiana had to face this week. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flash flood warning in place as a preparation for the cold front that central Kentucky, areas like Lexington, and Louisville because once that rain starts, there's no stopping it even for a minute until the hurricane has passed to the East.

How Will Hurricane Ida Impact Western Tennessee and Kentucky?

We've seen this film before and no one liked the ending when it comes to continuous rainfall and you might even feel safer than anyone just because you're not in a flood zone or a high-risk flood zone. However, this doesn't really exempt you from any threats of flash floods. Always remember that when there's a huge amount of rain and water is no longer going in the ground, most of the time this will runoff to low-lying areas and even low-risk flood zones.

Kentucky, especially its central areas, can expect persistent showers of rain starting today up to Wednesday, September 1st. Keep in mind that even though reports would say that there are only about 2 - 5 inches of rain that the state can expect to receive, floods due to runoffs aren't out of the equation.

If you want to know more about flood insurance in Kentucky especially concerning the new National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Risk Rating 2.0, CLICK HERE to check out our blog for it.

Hurricane Ida

Ida immediately escalated to a Category-4 after leaving Cuba on Friday and made landfall on the 16th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina at Louisiana and the New Orleans area specifically. Sustained winds of 150 MPH with gusty winds that go up to a Category-5. The hurricane was so intense that officials from Louisiana weren't able to order a mandatory evacuation for residents.

At the time of writing, the forecast of rainfall is significantly lower as Ida moves to the eastern coast of the country. Rainfall totals aren't expected to go higher than 6 inches as the hurricane is rapidly weakening as it goes through its course. 

Regardless, it's always better safe than sorry as even relatively small inches of rainfall can be as devastating as the heaviest rainfall. If you have questions on how to prepare and protect yourself and your property from this type of event, what your flood insurance options are in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky, or anything about floods, click below.

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks, avoid getting blindsided by weather events, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long term. You can use the links below to call us, email us, or get a quote from us.

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