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Flooding is one of the most deadly and destructive natural disasters and as floods and powerful storms increase due to climate change, it’s more important than ever that people understand the potential risks their properties face.
Scott Harris of Baltimore learned too late that his block had flooded seven times since the 1970s, and now pays $1,200 a month for flood insurance, “I’m bent over a barrel,” he said, “I can’t do anything else about it.”
Taking Action: Experts and activists from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) are pushing for reform of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides federally subsidized insurance for those whose homes are susceptible to flooding. They call for FEMA to provide homeowners with information about flood insurance formerly covering their homes and create a national database to track damage claims and repeatedly flooded properties.
Meanwhile, NPR suggests that prospective homebuyers should look to media and local news to find out if the home or area they’re considering has been flooded before, and use flood tracking websites that can help determine if their prospective home will be flooded in the future. NPR also recommends doing a cost-benefit analysis when it comes to flood insurance, noting that buyers may get their insurance at a bargain in areas designated low risk by FEMA.
Akouete Yemey of Roanoke, Virginia fears the creek behind his home explaining, “basically, every time it starts raining, the panic and anxiety start kicking in.” Harris feels the same anxiety, “it’s not a matter of if, but when. With climate change, we seem to be getting more and more rain, heavier rain, and it’s been a lot more unpredictable.”
Without comprehensive and aggressive action to fight climate change and warming ocean temperatures, no amount of warnings will be able to prevent devastating harm to the growing number of floodplain residents.
Mega-storms caused by atmospheric rivers were once thought to be once-in-a-millennia occurrences, but atmospheric rivers are flooding California more frequently due to the warming atmosphere. The latest mega-storm may put a dent in the mega-drought, but experts say California may be trapped in a vicious wet/dry cycle. It may not be time for Californians to build an ark just yet, but climate-resilient infrastructure would […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer After a record-breaking drought, much of the West and Southwest has been hoping for a winter of rain. But with scientists predicting a second consecutive winter with La Niña conditions, the dry spell may be prolonged. La Niña is a climate pattern that tends to produce droughts in the […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor As California’s summer fire season comes to a close, autumn’s Santa Ana winds have intensified a fast-moving wildfire now terrorizing Santa Barbara County. The Alisal fire began Monday afternoon. Since then, it has engulfed 16,801 acres and is only 5% contained, according to CalFire. As a result, a portion […]
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