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Why Floods Occur

Water may seem benign, but in vast quantities, it can turn into an enormously destructive force. When floods happen, they cause numerous problems. The reasons for flooding are varied, ranging from natural to human-induced:

Heavy Rains

Heavy rains are the simplest explanation for flooding.

When it rains massively, basins and reservoirs are overwhelmed, and that water doesn’t drain as quickly as it needs to. In short, the drainage systems back up, and the water rises, sometimes into homes. This typically happens only in cases of sustained and steady heavy rains over a long period.

Overflowing Rivers

It is not necessary to have heavy rains to experience flooding. For example, zones along a river that experience pouring rains could be subject to a serious overflow. Most larger rivers include a series of dams to help manage large amounts of rainfall.

Urban Drainage Basins

Many cities are made of mostly concrete and other impermeable material. When an urban drainage basin is made of concrete, there is no ground for water to sink into. So, when those drainage basins fill up, flooding happens in most low-lying areas.

This is frequently the case in large urban areas, such as Houston and Los Angeles. When heavy rains strike, the basins that are designed to drain them cannot always handle the load.

Storms Surges

Rain is not always the one to blame when it comes to flooding. Storm surges linked to hurricanes and other storms can lead to significant flooding.

Thanks to modern technology, it is possible to know about storm surges before they arrive, however, this is not always the case.

Lack of Vegetation

Vegetation can help slow runoff and prevent flooding. When there is a lack of vegetation, however, there is no much to stop the water. This can be a bit of a conundrum after a drought.

While area inhabitants welcome the rain, the lack of vegetation after the drought can cause flash flooding. This does not always happen given that basins and reservoirs are near to empty, but it can happen in cases of severe rains following long periods of drought.

Melting Snow and Ice

After a winter of heavy snow and other precipitation, spring can have many opportunities to suffer from flooding. Mountainous areas undergo relatively consistent snowfall totals from year to year, but an unusually heavy winter of rainfall can mean bad news for low-lying areas around the mountains when spring comes.

To learn more about how you can protect your property from during catastrophic events, contact us.

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