Extremely damaging floods can strike anywhere, anytime. Melting snow, heavy rainfall, aging infrastructure, and other weather events can cause as much flood damage as hurricanes.
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy, a hurricane and a post-tropical cyclone, killed at least 117 people in the United States including 37 in New Jersey. According to a report released by the National Hurricane Center, Sandy is expected to rank as the second-costliest tropical cyclone on record, after Hurricane Katrina of 2005, and will probably be the sixth-costliest cyclone when adjusting for inflation, population, and wealth normalization factors. In the state of New Jersey:
- Economic losses to businesses were up to $30 billion.
- Over 2 million households in the state lost power in the storm
- 346,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, due to storm surge and flooding.
- While moving ashore at Atlantic City, Sandy dropped heavy rainfall that reached 11.62 in in Wildwood Crest. Its landfall was accompanied by high winds, and the highest recorded wind gust in the state was 90 mph.
In December 1992, an intense, slow-moving nor’easter storm hit the eastern coast of New Jersey. It produced strong winds and record and near-record flooding along the entire Atlantic Coast of New Jersey from Bergen County to Cape May.
- Number of paid losses: 25,142
- Total losses: $346,150,356
- Average paid loss: $13,768
According to FEMA, everyone needs flood insurance. Some people think that they don’t need flood insurance because they think the Federal Government will take care of their financial needs if a major flood occurs. This is not true. Federal disaster assistance is only available if the Federal government declares a disaster area. Even then, it is often given in the form of a loan, with interest. You cannot buy Flood insurance last minute. The policy generally has to be in place for 30 days to take effect. Flood insurance terms last one year.
- Every year, flooding causes more than $2 billion of property damage in the U.S.
- In a high risk area, your home has a 26% chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage.
- Roughly 25 % of all claims paid by the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) are for policies in low- to moderate-risk communities.
- The average annual U.S. flood losses in the past 10 years (’94-’04) was $867 million per year.
- The NFIP awarded over $601 million in flood claims in 2003.
- Since 1969, the NFIP has paid $12.7 billion for flood insurance claims and related costs.
- About 4.5 million people currently hold flood insurance policies in more than 20,000 communities across the U.S.
- Floods and flash floods happen in all 50 states.
- Everyone lives in a flood zone.
- All claims and expenses of the NFIP program are funded by insurance premiums, not tax dollars.
- A car can easily be carried away by just two feet of floodwater.