Most homeowners in Northeast Tennessee don’t carry flood insurance. This is something many often regret after experiencing monster thunderstorms like the one that deluged our area Wednesday.
Standard residential insurance policies cover damage from wind or rain (water that comes from above), but they don’t include water that comes from below. Local insurance officials say now is a good time for homeowners to reconsider flood insurance. It won’t compensate them for this week’s damages, but it might provide them with some peace of mind during the next big storm.
More Americans are killed annually from flooding than from any other weather-related hazard. That is one of the reasons emergency officials often remind motorists never to drive through flooded areas. Weather officials say most flood deaths occur at night and when people become trapped in automobiles that stall on flooded roads. Flash floods are the deadliest because they can happen in a short period of time, generally less than six hours.
As we’ve noted in this space many times before, areas of the Upstate are most susceptible to flash flooding from mountain streams and rivers. If the National Weather Service issues a flood watch, residents living in the affected area should check flood action plans, keep informed and be ready to take action if a warning is issued or flooding is observed.
There is little we can do about the weather, but we can and should take precautions for flooding. That means motorists should stay off roads that are covered by rising water, and homeowners should always heed flood alerts and give some thought to obtaining flood insurance.