Wildfires are raging throughout Colorado causing severe damage. Flooding after fires are often part of a devastating one two punch. Homeowners need to start understanding the new flooding risks, and take steps now to protect property.
The U.S. Weather service has already issued a flash flood watch for Colorado Springs. A cold front is heading in, with rain expected. While the rain will help immensely with the fires, flooding is now far more likely. As the vegetation has been burned off, rain will just run down hill, rather then soaking into the ground.
While the fires make national headlines, we need to start thinking about flooding. In 2010 a fire burned much mountain land around Flagstaff Arizona. Later when rain came massive flooding occurred, often hitting neighborhoods not previously prone to floods. When trees, grasses and brush are lost, the water just comes.
Above: Flooding after 2010 fire in Flagstaff
Evaluate your risk and don’t fly blind. Start determining if your property is at risk, and then take necessary steps to prepare.
Those near fires should give thought to picking up flood insurance as most homeowner’s policies fail to cover flood damage. Homeowners must have a policy in force 30 days before a flood to be covered. If you aren’t sure you need coverage, pick up a policy, you can always cancel later if you believe not needed.
Some properties may need to obtain sandbags to protect homes, or look for ways to channel away from a home if possible. Most of us don’t want to start thinking about the other shoe that may be dropping in a few weeks, but wise people will start taking steps, as the smoke clears, to mitigate the next possible blow.
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