Monday, March 15, 2010


Floods are the most common natural disaster in the nation and in
Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Since 2005, there have been 17 significant
flood events in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, causing nearly $9 million in
insured losses, and an estimated $9 million in additional losses that
were not covered by insurance. In just the past year, there were five
significant flood events locally.
Nationally, 90 percent of all natural disasters involve flooding.
Floods also cause more deaths nationwide than any other weather event.
Last year, floods in the United States caused $5.6 billion in damage.
Most local flooding is caused by intense thunderstorms, tropical
storms or hurricanes. If it rains hard enough, flooding can happen
anytime, anywhere. Floodwater can overwhelm low-lying areas or push
streams out of their banks.
March 15 – 19 is National Flood Safety Awareness Week. Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Storm Water Services reminds you:
• Flash floods happen quickly with very little notice.
• Pay attention to flood watches and flood warnings. Be ready to move
to higher ground.
• Heavy rain can cause any low-lying area or street to flood, even if
it's not near a creek.
• Buy flood insurance. Homeowner's insurance doesn't cover flood
• Don't walk or drive through floodwater. Eighty percent of flood
deaths happen in vehicles.
Some areas of Charlotte-Mecklenburg are in mapped, regulated
floodplains. Use the interactive Floodzone Map to find out whether
your property is in a regulated floodplain. Keep in mind that flooding
is unpredictable, and it does happen outside of the mapped floodplain.
"The most important aspect of flood safety is recognizing the risk,"
says Tim Trautman, head of Storm Water Services' Flood Mitigation
Program. "Any time there is heavy rain, there is a very real risk of
flooding. The first and most important part of flood safety is for all
residents to be prepared."