April Showers Bring May…Floods
Spring has officially sprung in the US. This of course means fun things like grass growing, flowers blooming and warmer weather. Spring can also bring some not-so-fun things like allergies, bugs, and of course, flooding. Most people only associate flood activity with things like hurricanes and nor’easters but we are here to tell you that springtime can also bring some serious flooding risks.
Have you ever heard the saying, “April showers bring May flowers”? This references the dreaded flash flooding that can occur from spring rainstorms. These storms can bring several inches of rain in just a few hours which can lead to heavy flooding and overfilling of storm drains.
These “April Showers” can also lead to the overflowing of levees and dams. If you are in an area with an aging or insufficient drain system and a heavy rain storm moves in, this can overflow the drains and pour into the rivers and streams causing dams and levees to erode and weaken or even fail if enough water is involved.
My favorite part of spring is the warmer temperatures that it brings. In fact, as I am writing this, I am watching that last patch of snow in my yard melt away. Some others, including our CEO John Dickson who is an avid skier, are sad to see the snow go, but not me. I welcome the sunshine, birds chirping, and longer days. Something else that doesn’t welcome the warmer weather, is the snow. It begins to melt away and feed into our rivers and streams which can be another contributor to flooding. Believe it or not, one of the contributors to the Flood of 1862 was snow melt from Oregon and Northern California draining into the American and Sacramento rivers leading to some of the worst flooding this country has ever seen.
While there are many great things that come from Spring, flooding isn’t one of them. Keep this in mind when you see a heavy storm moving into your area. Take note of your drainage system, as the flooding can occur days after the storm as the river can overflow over time. Help keep your family and your clients protected with flood insurance, you may need it when you least expect it.