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Winter Flooding in the Gulf

Hurricane Season ends November 30, but flooding is a year-round risk for Gulf State residents. Above-average rainfall in the winter increases the risk of widespread damage from coastal flooding, ice jams and snow melt.

Many people may not think of flood insurance during the winter months, however, it is important to protect your property from flood damage year-round. Only flood insurance offers financial protection from flooding.


March 1997: Inland areas across the Southeast received heavy rainfall in early March, causing widespread flood damage across more than a dozen states. In many areas, the rains fell on nearly- saturated ground left by the snow and rainfall of the past few months, resulting in more than 6,000 flood insurance claims and $128 million in flood insured losses.

January 1993: Major flooding occurred throughout much of southeastern Georgia and Louisiana, southern Mississippi and south-central Texas, resulting from excessive rainfall that totaled between 7 – 17 inches of rain in some areas. Flood-insured losses totaled more than $24 million.

December 1982 – May 1983: During the 1982-83 El Niño, heavy rains and flooding occurred across the Gulf States. In New Orleans almost 75 percent of the city's streets were under water. Estimated damages for Mississippi and Louisiana were approximately $350 million. Total losses were estimated at $1.2 billion.


Residents in areas susceptible to winter flooding need to prepare in advance for flood conditions. Before the threat of flooding becomes imminent, residents should:

  • Purchase a flood insurance policy if they do not already have one
  • Review their current insurance policy and become familiar with what is and is not covered
  • Make a flood plan. Plan evacuation routes. Keep important papers in a safe, waterproof place.
  • Itemize and take pictures of possessions

Consumers can visit or call 1-800-427-2419 to learn how to prepare for floods, how to purchase a National Flood Insurance policy and the benefits of protecting your home and property against flooding.

What's My Flood Risk?

Visit FEMA's Flood Map Service Center to locate your flood map to help determine your flood risk.

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27-Sep-2016, 1:47 PM (EDT)

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