Our nation has been slammed by countless natural disasters: the Northridge Earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, the Yosemite National Park Rim Fire of 2013, the Great Appalachian Blizzard of 1950, and many, many more. Each one has been catastrophic, but the costliest disasters are floods. Here’s a look at why floods are the most expensive disasters.
WHAT ARE FLOODS?
Floods are large amounts of water that surge onto normally dry land. These natural disasters are caused by torrential rain, hurricanes, snowmelt or dam breakage, triggering overflowing streams, rivers, oceans, or lakes.
Floods can sweep away cars, bridges, buildings, and people. They can cause contamination by scooping up dirt, sand, debris, garbage, chemicals, and even human and animal waste. Floods can destroy crops and even uproot trees. Flood waters can rise suddenly and ebb quickly (flash floods), or they may take several days, weeks or even months to rise and recede.
THE ECONOMIC DAMAGE OF FLOODS
Ninety percent of all natural disasters in the US are floods. Floods are also the costliest natural disaster. High-risk areas aren’t the only ones that are susceptible to floods. Twenty-five percent of flood insurance claims are filed in moderate to low-risk areas. If you happen to be in that 25 percentile, Neptune Flood will apply our specialized melding of technology, math algorithms, and insurance expertise to help you get back on your feet.
According to a study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), floods in the United States caused about $60.7 billion worth of crop and property damage from 1995 to 2017.
DETAILS ABOUT WHAT CAUSES FLOODS
There are many conditions that produce floods, and their effects are often unpredictable:
• Flash Floods — Flash floods cause the highest number of weather-related deaths. They’re caused when rain falls so fast that the ground cannot absorb it. There is usually precious little time between the rain falling and the flash flood beginning. An epic flash flood engulfed Louisville, Kentucky in 2009 when it was hit by a monumental 8.8 inches of rain per hour. Damages from this pummeling totaled approximately $8.5 million.
• Spring Thaw — When snow in colder regions melts in the springtime, it can wreak havoc if it overflows rivers, streams, and lakes. In 2009, Alaska experienced record-breaking floods coursing from snowmelt and ice jams along its rivers. The state buckled under $7.2 million of damages.
• Heavy Rain and Snowmelt — In 2009, the state of Washington was bludgeoned by an onslaught of rain and snowmelt that caused severe flooding and mudslides. Damages soared to $125 million.
PERSONAL PROPERTY DAMAGES
Personal property can take severe hits from flood damage. Some of these expenses can include:
• Mold — Mold is a fungus that thrives in the moisture that flood waters deposit in your home. Mold can lodge in walls, attics, and basements and can cause allergies and asthma symptoms. Mold removal can cost approximately $2,000 to $6,000, depending upon the severity of the infestation.
• Basement Flood — Damage to your basement from flood hinges upon how much water seeped into your foundation and the extent of the destruction. It may cost $10,000 to repair damage from water that’s only several inches deep, while repairs for a more extensive flood could set you back between $25,000 and $50,000.
ECONOMIC IMPACT ON AGRICULTURE
Hurricane Florence dealt North Carolina a huge economic blow. Graham Boyd, chief executive of the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina (TGANC), estimates losses could total as much as 125 million pounds of tobacco valued at $250 million to $350 million. In addition, livestock losses in the state are estimated at 5,500 hogs and 3.4 million poultry. Small farms have also experienced formidable setbacks.
ECONOMIC IMPACT ON EMPLOYEES AND BUSINESSES
When day-to-day business activities are interrupted by a breakdown of communication channels, and by damaged roads, bridges and transportation systems, economic activities grind to a halt. This can cause loss of livelihoods or even ruination of businesses. If these businesses are in a city that is a commercial hub, their destruction could have economic repercussions for the surrounding areas that were unaffected by floods.
HOW DO FLOODS AFFECT YOUR CAR?
If your car was submerged during a flood, it’s probably totaled, and your investment has been washed away. Once water flows through the engine compartment or floods the interior, too many significant parts will be damaged to safely drive your car. You can probably expect the engine, transmission, drive train, brake, fuel, and power steering systems to be ruined.
Flooding is the most common natural disaster and the costliest. Aside from physical ravages, floods can have dire economic consequences. At Neptune Flood, we understand that your finances may have taken a hard hit from flooding. Please contact us so that we can implement our cutting edge technology to provide you with superior coverage that will waterproof your life.