What to Know for Spring Flooding
While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains, severe weather, and rapid snowmelt that can increase your flood risk.
Don't be caught off guard, get the facts and know the risks. Take action to protect yourself, your family, your business, and your finances—before a weather event occurs and it's too late.
What Mid-Atlantic Residents Should Know!
Spring Flood Risks
Spring Thaw: Warmer temperatures and resulting snow melt can produce large amounts of runoff in a short period of time, as each cubic foot of compacted snow contains gallons of water. During the early spring, frozen land prevents melting snow or rainfall from seeping into the ground. The water then runs off the surface and flows into lakes, streams and rivers, causing excess water to spill over their banks. Add seasonal storms to the mix, and the result is often severe spring flooding.
Spring Rains: Spring storms can bring several inches of precipitation in just hours or can stall out over an area for days. These heavy rains can lead to severe flooding by over saturating the ground, overfilling storm drains, or causing rivers to spill over their banks or levees.
Flash Flooding: A flash flood is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas in less than six hours, which is caused by intense rainfall from a thunderstorm or several thunderstorms. Flash floods can also occur when there are drought-like conditions.
What you should know:
- Flood losses are not typically covered under renter and homeowner’s insurance policies.
- FEMA manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which makes federally-backed flood insurance available in communities that agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage.
- Flood insurance is available in most communities through insurance agents.
- There is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect, so don’t delay.
- Flood insurance is available whether the building is in or out of an identified flood-prone area.
For more information, please visit Ready.gov's Flood Page!