As we fast approach the hurricane season and go through the middle of Spring, we want to understand how this current weather can affect the risk of flooding throughout Colorado. We'll unpack the impacts of the recent snowstorms on flood insurance, flooding in general, and how the Spring runoff can impact these disasters.
As we end the month of April, Colorado has been facing a storm system that brings both rainfall and snowstorms across the state. The heavy precipitation brought about 1 inch up to 4 inches of rain in some areas and this is expected to go on as we move further into hurricane season. Since we're going into a warmer climate in the Spring season, this type of weather can really be very dangerous to residents of the state.
Spring Runoff and Spring Thaw
It's a common occurrence when it comes to the transition of seasons from winter to spring that the snow collected over the former season will start to melt and seep into the soil. This event is called a spring thaw. In turn, it saturates the ground make it less capable of draining water naturally. Considering how much snow is coming in Colorado, this definitely presents a more prominent spring thaw which will cause more flooding in the state if this weather keeps its pace.
As the melting snow seeps into the ground this also causes streams and river levels to rise. This event is called a spring runoff and if we look at the 30 inches of snow covering major parts of the state, this can mean that flooding can be more frequent even with a small amount of rain. When it comes to flood threats, a rising level of any body of water plus the less capable draining of the soil due to spring thaw is sure to bring flooding even in high-lying areas.
It's important to note that this type of event can cause flood maps to be affected wherein properties might be moved into a high-risk flood zone. This is why despite being in a low-risk flood zone, we recommend property owners buy flood insurance to protect their property.
As flood is expected to be more frequent in the coming weeks, it's best to make sure that you're well protected with flood insurance. Now, it's important to note that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be able to provide you a flood policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as long as you're in a participating community. So this may be a go-to solution when it comes to flood insurance.
The NFIP provides coverage for property damage that maxes up to $250,000 for residential policies and $500,000 max for commercial policies. There's also a max of $100,000 when it comes to contents or personal property coverage. However, it should be mentioned that federal flood insurance generally has a 30-day waiting period before your policy takes effect on the property. So, if you're going with federal flood insurance, you should expect this waiting period and offset your plans on flood policies.
On the other hand, there's also private flood insurance. First, it's important to note that there may some private insurers who are going to pull away from these high-risk areas. Private flood generally offers more coverage compared to the NFIP and needs less time when it comes to the waiting period for the policy to take effect. It's important to note that the NFIP maxes out at the amount we mentioned previously.
This is different from private flood since they really don't have coverage limits which means you can get more than $250,000 in property coverage, more than $100,000 in contents coverage, and extra coverage such as additional living expenses, loss of use, and replacement costs.
So, if you have any questions on preparing for flood, flood insurance options, flood zones, or anything about flood reach out to us. Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation and we want to share this knowledge with you, so you too can be prepared when crap happens. Click the links below to call us, watch our daily flood education videos on YouTube, or get a quote for your flood policy to get started protecting your property from floods.