North Texas caught a break. The rain finally stopped after a brief downpour Saturday morning and began to enjoy some much needed sun. The forecast has no mention of a chance of rain for the coming week. My backyard, which resembles a swamp, may actually begin to dry out!
The Dallas / Fort Worth area recorded the wettest May on record with 16.97 inches of rain. We also survived the second wettest spring on record with 25.04 inches of rain from March through May. According to the National Weather Service, parts of D/FW have received between 16 and 24 inches over the past 180 days.
The rain resulted in the surrounding lakes filling, then overflowing. The Trinity River near downtown Dallas became a local destination as visitors and residents alike, watched it top out at 43 feet above flood stage. Streets closed and highways were inundated by rushing water, homes along Duck Creek in Garland were flooded, and Lake Lewisville was closed to boaters to prevent their wake from pushing water into area homes.
The National Weather Service crunched the rainfall totals statewide and determined that 35 trillion gallons of water fell on Texas during May, or enough to cover the entire state with 8 inches of water. The rain ended our drought conditions, but it will be weeks or months before area lake and river levels return to normal. The biggest challenge facing the Army Corps of Engineers, is how much water to release from our flooded lakes without exacerbating flood conditions from D/FW south to Houston and on to the Gulf of Mexico.
Here are 10 things most people don’t know when it comes to flooding or flood insurance.
- Flooding is the number 1 natural disaster in the US.
- Nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate to low risk areas.
- There is a 30 day waiting period for all new flood policies unless it’s required for closing on a new home purchase.
- Flash floods are the number 1 weather related killer in the US.
- According to the National Inventory of Dams 1994 survey, there are over 74,000 dams in the US. Nearly 1/3 pose a significant risk to life and property if they collapse.
- Average flood insurance policy costs over $600 a year.
- In high risk flood areas, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30 year mortgage.
- From 2007 to 2011 the average residential flood claim amounted to almost $30,000.
- Disaster assistance, if it’s available, is typically provided as a loan that must be repaid with interest. This applies to those who qualify for assistance but did not have flood coverage.
- The average cost of flood damage for a 1000 square foot home is $10,600 for 1 inch of water, $20,150 for 6 inches of water, $27,150 for 1 foot of water and $39,950 for 4 feet of water. In a 2,000 square foot home, the loss amounts are roughly double.
Flood insurance could be the difference between financial bankruptcy and getting your home back. I recommend it for anyone who has a home located on or near a lake, river, creek, or drainage ditch. With hurricane season starting, can you imagine what would happen to your home or business if 16 inches of rain fell in one or two days instead of 31?
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