Can Snowmelt Cause Flooding?
Updated: Mar 30, 2021
Springtime is on the horizon, and many are looking forward to the brighter skies and warmer temperatures that are on their way. But, in the wake of an active winter, including several massive snowstorms that impacted communities nationwide, the threat of snowmelt-related flooding is high.
As climbing temperatures melt the snow and ice winter left behind, they create the potential for flooding and may even produce enough runoff to trigger dangerous flash floods. This can pose a significant risk to homes and businesses, particularly ones close to bodies of water.
In 2017, residents near the Kings River in Central California experienced this firsthand. That winter, the snowpack nearly doubled its normal levels. The rising temperatures that followed melted a winter’s worth of snow and ice, creating a precarious environment for nearby residents. When flood waters breached the adjacent levee, the gushing overflow submerged several homes and forced roughly 300 people in 90 homes to evacuate.
The unpredictable nature of snowmelt is cause for concern, but for those still looking at snow outside their windows, there are mitigation steps that can be taken to protect your property:
Proactively remove snow. Taking care of snow around your property may reduce the chance of snowmelt related flooding. If possible, move snow at least three feet away from the base or foundation of the home.
Have resources on hand. Having the right tools in place may also reduce the accumulation of water. For example, a properly functioning sump pump may help collect excess water and keep it from building up in your home.
Obtain flood insurance. Even when appropriate prevention measures have been taken, some risk of flooding will always remain. For that reason, we recommend all home and property owners consider flood insurance to help protect against the peril of flood – whether due to snowmelt or another source.
It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. And since companies like Floodprice allow you to get a flood insurance quote online, it’s easier than ever to take the first step in protecting your home. Go from quote to covered in as little as 5 minutes at FloodPrice.com.