The third hurricane of the Atlantic Season – Hurricane Joaquin – has captured everyone’s attention this week. Although it is expected that the center of Joaquin will stay offshore, several East Coast states including the Carolinas and Virginia are in line for heavy rainfall and flooding as the moisture from the Caribbean Sea and the western Atlantic is pulling tropical air into the region. The impacts will include flash flooding, river flooding, gusty winds, high surf, beach erosion and coastal flooding.
According to the National Hurricane Center predictions, areas from the mid-Atlantic to the central Appalachians and the Carolinas appear to be the epicenter for the heaviest rainfall amounts, expected to deliver 10 – 15 inches of rain in many locations over a 72-hour period from Friday through Sunday. This amount of rain may be a 100-year or a 500-year flood event in many areas. Due to the heavy rain that fell earlier this week, the ground is already saturated in many areas of the East Coast region, which may exacerbate the flooding in those areas. The heavy rain caused significant flooding to parts of Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Maine, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Flash flood watches have been issued by the National Weather Service from Maryland southward into most of Virginia, the Carolinas, northeastern Georgia and eastern Tennessee.
Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster peril in the Unites States. Based on the National Hurricane Center reports, over the last 30 years, inland flooding has been responsible for more than half the deaths associated with the tropical cyclones in the United States. While the effects of it can be devastating, there are a few things you can do in an attempt to minimize the impact of a flooding on your properties and business.
- If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds. Each NFIP policy provides $1,000 for sandbags and another $1,000 to move the contents that you own to a safe location during the flood event.
- Ensure that important business files are backed up on a server away from your building so they aren’t lost if electronics and paper files are destroyed by water.
- Review your disaster response and recovery plan with your local and regional staff.
- Take all necessary steps to prevent the release of dangerous chemicals that may be stored on your property; locate gas mains and electrical shut-offs and anchor fuel tanks.
- Contact your insurance agent to discuss your named wind and flood coverage.
The expected amount of rainfall will likely cause severe flooding in many areas. CRIO highly encourages those in the areas projected to flood to start making preparations.
CRIO has substantial expertise assessing, insuring and mitigating hurricane and flood risk, so feel free to contact your CRIO Risk Advisor with any questions you may have and to learn how CRIO may be able to improve how you insure your hurricane and flood risk.