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Hurricanes Can Bring Inland Flooding

This Hurricane Season, be FloodSmart about storm effects, wherever you live

Statistics from the National Flood Insurance Program

Hurricane Irene: August 2011
Areas impacted by Hurricane Irene had close to 44,000 paid losses totaling more than $1.3 billion with an average amount paid of more than $29,500.

Tropical Storm Lee: September 2011
Areas impacted by Tropical Storm Lee had more than 9,700 paid losses totaling more than $442 million with an average amount paid more than $45,000.

Tropical Storm Ida: November 2009
Areas impacted by Hurricane Ida had more than 5,600 paid losses totaling more than $100 million with an average amount paid of nearly $18,000.

Hurricane Ike: September 2008
The devastating effects of Hurricane Ike were felt not only in TX, which saw considerable storm surge damage, but also in states as far north as PA and MI. Significant wind and flooding damage was seen in LA, AR, TN, IL, IN, KY, MO, and OH.

There were more than 46,000 paid losses to the areas impacted by Hurricane Ike totaling more than $2.6 billion with an average paid amount of $57,000.

Hurricane Gustav: September 2008
Hurricane Gustav made landfall in Louisiana causing significant wind, storm surge and flooding damage in AL, AR, LA and MS.

The areas damaged by Hurricane Gustav had more than 4,500 paid losses totaling more than $112 million with an average paid amount in excess of $24,500

Inland Flooding: Did you know

Inland flooding is the most deadly result of a hurricane..

Inland flooding can be a major threat to communities hundreds of miles from the coast as heavy rain falls from these huge tropical air masses. .

A tropical storm can produce more rainfall than a Category 5 hurricane. For example, Tropical Storm Allison dropped more than 30 inches of rain as it passed over Houston, TX in 2001.. A slow moving or stalled tropical storm can produce considerably more rainfall in a given area than a fast moving intense hurricane. As all hurricanes weaken to tropical storms and move inland, the threat of torrential rains over large areas intensifies the risks of flooding for inland communities and states.

Inland flooding can occur almost immediately and even a small amount of flooding can cause significant risk and damage. As tropical storms move inland, rainfall dumped in short timeframes can result in flash flooding that can last up to a week or more. Just six inches of moving water can sweep a person off his or her feet, and only a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars of damage to homes and businesses.

Be FloodSmart Inland Flooding Preparedness Tips:

  • Monitor any tropical storm systems. Make sure you and your family are aware of storm paths and pay attention to any flood-related advisories or warnings for your community.
  • Make sure you have an emergency plan and contact. Plan and practice a flood evacuation route and ask someone out of state to be a "family contact" in case you are separated from loved ones.
  • Get flood insurance. Visit or call 1-800-427-2419 to learn your risk, prepare for inland flooding, and discover how to purchase a National Flood Insurance Policy. A 30-day wait period means you should act now to protect your property. The toll-free number and Web site provide flood insurance resources and information, including tools to find an agent and estimate the cost of insurance premiums.


For flood insurance rating purposes, a primary residence is a building that will be lived in by the insured or the insured's spouse for at least 80 percent of the 365 days following the policy effective date. If the building will be lived in for less than 80 percent of the policy year, it is considered to be a non-primary residence.

How Can I get Covered?

  • Rate your risk
  • Estimate your premiums
  • Find an agent

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Last Updated: Sunday, 13-Apr-2014, 4:35 PM (EDT)

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