When the Waters Rise, Will You be Ready?

By Marja Ortiz-Martinez
4/22/2013 10:01:59 AM

Floods are amongst the most frequent and costly natural disasters in America, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency. Recently, flash floods have been making the news due to a strong cold front pushing across the Mississippi Valley. In the Midwest, heavy rainfall caused flash flooding, sink holes and major structural damage. In under 72 hours, the city of Chicago received more than 7 inches of rain - more than the total rainfall for the month's of June and July in 2012 combined.

Flooding caused enormous problems when Sandy tore a destructive path through the Northeast in 2012. Heavy rainfall flooded the Jersey coast and the the Rockaways in New York. Long after the waters receded homeowners were faced with the challenge of tearing down and rebuilding the structures that were left standing. Anything submerged for more than 48 hours became a home for black mold and various harmful bacteria. With the coastlines depleted the Northeast coast is more susceptible than ever to future flooding.

Some areas may be prone to flooding, however, flooding is not solely based on history. Flooding is based on a number of factors, including rainfall, topography, county flood-control measures, faulty levees and tidal surges. To monitor the flood hazard level in your area you can visit floodsmart.gov and if you would like more information on what to do in the event of a flood be sure to check out this week's Health Front.