When many of us think about huge flooding that engulfs huge cities and causes an incredible amount of damage we usually think about the big tropical storms that wipe out everything in sight. There are however a lot of causes for flooding and other kinds of water damage that can even happen right here in Boston. One of the big causes of floods is the annual spring thaw. It sounds crazy in a way because one wouldn’t expect that much water to come out of a bit of thawing but during the spring if everything melts quickly without a chance to be absorbed by the land, the water can sit on top of the soil and eventually find its way into homes causing lots of damage. If the ground itself is still frozen and the top layers only start to melt then you can really find yourself with some problems. Each cubic foot of compacted snow can melt to gallons of water and overflow rivers, lakes and streams. The Boston area is also in a region that is susceptible to heavy rains making the problem of rising lakes, river and streams even more dangerous. Even a few inches of flooding of a natural water source can cause a lot of water damage to homes in Boston. If the water is already higher than normal because of the frost melting, they can start to overflow much quicker than one might expect. It does not take very much at all.
Other factors that can cause some flooding or water damage in Boston are things such as levees and dams. Both levees and dams are built to protect homes from flooding conditions but they are not fail-proof. If they weaken or overfill with rising waters, they can have catastrophic results as we recently saw in New Orleans. There is no possibility of a small problem when it comes to levees and dams.
Many home insurance policies will try and not covered damage done by floods so if you think that you are in a high risk area, make sure to talk with your insurance company and make sure that they cover every aspect of possible flood damage. If you are not sure if you live in a flood area or not, you can look on the FEMA website for a map of your particular state, county, city or even neighborhood to see what kinds of risk you are at. Proper flood insurance will probably cost you a little bit more but it will be good to have since a flood can quickly destroy everything in your home as well as the home itself. While floods are unlikely, they can cause an unimaginable amount of problems if you are to be unlucky enough to be subjugated to one. Many insurance companies will try and get out of paying up in cases of flooding, both the kind caused by natural disasters as well as more innocent things like a pipe busting in your home.