Winter Snow Melt Could Mean Higher Flood Risk Than Last Eight Years

flood survey | flooding potentialWhile we here in Alabama may not have to worry TOO much about snow melt, this does affect our flooding potential, especially in the northern counties of the state.

Folks in the Huntsville area, and many other areas of the state, have seen their FEMA flood maps change recently. Many who were “out of the flood zone” are now shown “in the flood zone.”
While, technically, the flood zone hasn’t really changed, the new, and more extensive drainage studies that were done, have identified more areas that are at risk of flooding. Well, this new study could be just in time for you IF you pay attention to your flood risks.
If you live along, or near, a major river in our area, then you should pay attention to this issue as an article on this year’s flood outlook warns.
   It’s kind of hard with this much on the ground to start talking about flooding and planning and thinking flooding, but when you’ve got this much snow and we’re coming into the time of year we’re coming into, if you’re wise you’ll start planning for flooding, said Marion County Emergency Management Director John Hark.
Another factor for river flooding is ground saturation level based on the amount and frequency of spring rains. If you get a couple of days of light to moderate rain, then on the next day you get a “toad strangler” (technical term) then the ground will likely be saturated and cannot soak up any more water.
This means that the majority of the storm water will runoff and cause the streams and rivers to swell more than they would normally in an equal size rain event. This is actually called the “antecedent moisture condition.”
We normally count on the ground to soak up from thirty to sixty percent of the rainfall it sees. With a high antecedent moisture condition, this could be reduced to as low as ten percent, about equivalent to runoff from paved surfaces.
If you are unsure of the flooding potential or flood risk in your area, please contact a land surveyor before it is too late. A land surveyor can conduct a flood survey or elevation survey which will determine the elevation of your house in relation to the base flood elevation.
Armed with this information you will know if you need to purchase flood insurance through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance will minimize the risk of flood damage to your home. You might not be able to prevent a flood, but you can sure prevent it from costing you a tremendous amount of money. See this article to estimate the costs of flood damage to your home.
You can use the included instructions to find your home on the new Flood Insurance Rate Maps. If you have trouble, please call us today at Pro17 Engineering at (334) 826-9540.  Don’t wait till the river starts to rise.