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Are you ready for a 1000-year flood?

The news has been full of recent disaster stories from across the country. Terrific rainfall amounts in Louisiana resulted in staggering amounts of flooding. One location received more rain in four days than Los Angeles has received in the last 55 months. Within the last month, torrential rain caused flooding in Maryland, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri just to name a few locations.

Minnesota, too, has seen heavy rains and devastating floods becoming more common. In mid-August, Willmar and locations west of the Twin Cities received up to 8 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. Since 2002, the state has experienced five extreme rain events, as compared with the previous 33-year period, which only saw three.

For homeowners, this can be frightening, as many of these recent floods have occurred in locations with no historical experience of flooding. Many of the homes in Louisiana were not covered by flood insurance, as they were not in flood-prone areas. This means that homeowners would have been unlikely to expect water problems due to flooding.

The Louisiana floods have been described as 1000-year floods, meaning the chances of a similar event in any one year would be 0.1 percent during a 1000-year period. But what happens when such events become less rare?

You may be able to help protect your property, by ensuring your home is optimally drained. If you are in an area with a flood risk, flood insurance may be available. Damage from flooding is devastating, as the water is typically contaminated with sewage and chemicals that often means the structure and all of its contents are unsalvageable, making any losses catastrophic. 

Some homeowners will struggle to obtain compensation for the damage, often needing to resort to litigation against their insurer when claims disputes arise.

 

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