It might seem impossible now, but in the coming months the snow covering the ground will begin to melt. As spring’s warmer temperatures begin to melt the snow, they can also bring heavy spring rain. Unfortunately, until the ground thaws, melting snow and rain cannot be absorbed. The excess water runoff overwhelms drainage systems and can overflow lakes, streams and rivers. With nowhere to go, flood waters can inundate nearby homes and businesses.
In addition to the snowmelt, frozen rivers and streams will also begin to thaw. As the ice breaks and travels downstream, ice jams can block the flow of water, creating flooding upstream. The combination of snowmelt, thawing bodies of water and ice jams, with spring rain can result in serious, widespread flooding.
Here are some tips to avoid flooding caused by snowmelt:
- Remove snow from around your foundation and pay particular attention to the areas around window wells. As snow melts, water could accumulate and seep in.Moving accumulated snow just a few feet away from the house can help avoid a wet basement.
- Help keep catch basins clear. Where possible, safely clear snow, ice, and debris from the catch basins in your area.
- Avoid having snow drain next to your house. Make sure your downspouts carry water several feet from your house to a well-drained area.
Water damage caused by flooding is not covered under most standard homeowners policy. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), between 2008 and 2012, the average flood claim was over $38,000. That’s more than most people can afford to pay out-of-pocket for flood damages—and without flood insurance, many must cover the costs to repair or rebuild on their own.
A flood does not have to be a catastrophic event to bring high out-of-pocket costs, and you don’t have to live in a high-risk flood area to suffer flood damage. Depending on the location of your home, you may qualify for a Preferred Rate Policy.
It takes 30-days for a flood insurance policy to take effect, so don’t wait until the snow starts melting. To learn more about Rhode Island Flood Insurance contact the OceanPoint Insurance Team.