Risk of Flood Damage at Lowest Point in Four Years Thanks to Mild 2012 Winter
For the first time in four years, there are no areas of the country that are staring at any sort of high flood damage risk, due to the limited winter snowfall during 2012.
“We’re not forecasting a repeat of recent historic and prolonged flooding in the central and northern U.S., and that is a relief,” said Laura Furgione, deputy director, NOAA’s National Weather Service. “The severity of any flooding this year will be driven by rainfall more so than the melting of the current snowpack.”
River and stream levels are at normal to below normal levels throughout most of the country, and there is less snowpack than seen in recent years. The result is that there is less snow to melt, with correspondingly fewer opportunities for flooding to occur. The main risk for flooding comes with the heavy spring and early summer rainfalls that typically occur.
Drought conditions are expected to continue across much of the southern US and expand into the southwest through the end of spring. The northern states will be less affected,
.“Recent rainfall has helped lessen the drought in eastern Oklahoma, northeast Texas and interior Louisiana, but the historic magnitude of this prolonged drought means that recovery will be slow,” said David Brown, Ph.D., director, NOAA Southern Region Climate Services. “Drought is now encompassing parts of the West and Southwest making conditions more favorable for wildfires.”
If there is a downside it is that drought conditions in some states such as Texas may be aggravated as a result of not enough available water to combat potential wildfire scenarios. This may place undue stress on crops and livestock due to lowered water levels and water conservation restrictions.
It is important to remember that even though flooding risk is at low ebb, the weather during this time may change quickly, from drought to flooding to severe weather and back again, with little or no warning. Water damage may occur as a result of torrential rains over one area, or even through the steady rain over one area for an extended period of time, usually as the result of a slow-moving storm system.
In addition, when flash floods form, they do so quickly, sometimes in as little as a matter of minutes, and race across the countryside causing enormous damage to life and property. There are usually very few warnings in advance of flash floods, which means evacuation should take place the minute the alarm is sounded.
Floods can cause massive damage to structures, homes, and businesses. It is important to secure a qualified flood damage restoration company to handle any damage done to your property and possessions.