Are you at risk for a flood? - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Are you at risk for a flood?

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SHELBY COUNTY - AL -

 

For many people, their best preparation for flooding is insurance. Insurance to cover flooding damage comes solely from FEMA. Many people don't buy it unless they're in a flood plain.  We wanted to learn more about our Central Alabama flood zones. What we found was - you could be at risk for a flood - even if you're outside the danger zone. We sat down at Logan Martin Dam with civil engineer Marty Martin.

"It was the true 100 year flood," Thomas "Marty" Martin said. "And that's bad."

Bottom line- if your house is close to a creek or body of water- even a ditch, you're at risk. If you buy a piece of property, and new development moves in - that new concrete will cause the water to flow faster and in different direction   increasing your risk.
 
"You can't make runoff and water go away, you have to control it," Martin said. "If you wait until everything is developed, then it's really expensive to control it."

He showed us the flood maps and highlighted the places around the Birmingham metro that frequently flood.

"Bishop creek in Pelham increased flooding by six feet in some areas as did Buck Creek in Alabaster and Pelham," Martin said. "Village Creek gets the most publicity, Shades Creek now in Homewood because of the apartments." 

So how can you make sure you don't get a big bill from a flood like Mondays? 

"Normally homeowners or renters insurance doesn't cover flooding," he said. "It's a separate policy through the NFIP or National Flood Insurance Program."

Insurance agent Marnie Erdman told us -it depends on where you live in relationship to a flood plain as to how much insurance will cost. 

"Everyone lives in a flood zone - I try to let my customers know that - whether you are in a low, moderate, or high risk zone," Erdman said.

To find out if you're at risk, you can get flood plain maps from your city hall or city engineer.

Here is a link to FEMA's site for more information about getting flood insurance: https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/

 

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