Why Flooding in America’s Inland Areas Are Increasing

While flooding has been primarily associated with coastal regions, a concerning trend has emerged in recent years: an increase in flooding in America’s inland areas. Coastal communities are vulnerable to storm surges, hurricanes, and rising sea levels which all lead to flooding.

America’s inland do not experience the above - so, what then is driving the increased flooding in non coastal areas? This phenomenon indicates broader environmental changes. Understanding the reasons behind it is crucial for developing effective mitigation strategies

Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events

One of the main reasons for increased inland flooding in America and around the world is climate change. As global temperatures rise, the atmosphere holds more moisture, leading to more intense and frequent rainfall events. 

Climate change also influences weather patterns. As the Arctic warms, the jet stream becomes more erratic and causes weather systems to stall over regions. This leads to extended periods of heavy rain, causing rivers and streams to overflow.

The result? Local waterways and drainage systems become overwhelmed which causes significant flooding - particularly for urban areas. This leads us to our next point…

The Impact of Urbanization on Flooding in the United States

Urbanization and land development have significantly increased the risk of flooding in inland areas. As cities expand, natural landscapes are replaced with impervious surfaces like roads, parking lots, and buildings.

This reduces the land’s ability to absorb rainwater, increasing runoff into drainage systems that may not be equipped to handle such volumes. Consequently, urban areas are particularly susceptible to flash flooding. 

Unfortunately, we have expanded urban development quicker than we have updated flood policies and preparedness. One of the biggest mistakes of rapid urbanization is the lack of consultation and collaboration with flood experts.

Outdated Flood Policies and Preparedness

Policy and preparedness play crucial roles in flood management. In many inland areas, policies and zoning regulations have not kept pace with the increased risk of flooding. 

Many flood maps are outdated and don't reflect the trends we are seeing now. As the ground naturally moves and areas erode overtime, it's important to revisit the flood risk for your property to get a clear picture of how much flood protection you really need.

Before continuing to build, we must include:

  • Better land-use planning
  • Stricter building codes
  • Investment in resilient infrastructure
  • Flood management plans that incorporate modern climate data
  • Education on flood protection products

While all of the above might lengthen the time on construction projects, the potential to mitigate devastating flooding can save property owners and communities hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Next Steps For Inland Flood Mitigation

The unfortunate reality is that inland flooding is increasing due to changing weather patterns, including heavy rainfall and intense storms. Any property near bodies of water, including rivers, lakes, or even areas with poor drainage, can be at risk of flooding.

We can’t change the weather… and reversing the effects of climate change won’t happen overnight, or even in the next few decades. The good news is that there are steps that every individual can take to protect their property and help prevent significant losses due to flooding.

Sound the Alarm to Your Local Government

Raising awareness about inland flooding is crucial for mobilizing local communities and influencing government action. Residents, community leaders, and environmental advocates must sound the alarm by highlighting the growing frequency and severity of inland floods, emphasizing their devastating impact on homes, businesses, and infrastructure. 

It's essential to bring these concerns to local government officials, advocating for increased planning, funding, and implementation of robust flood mitigation and recovery programs. Communities must come together to push for necessary investments in resilient infrastructure, updated zoning regulations, and proactive disaster preparedness measures.

Consult With a Flood Expert During Building Construction

Collaborating with flood experts during the construction phase of a new building is vital for ensuring compliance with regulations and implementing effective flood prevention techniques. These experts bring invaluable knowledge about local flood risks, water management strategies, and regulatory requirements.

Flood experts can also guide developers through complex permitting processes, ensuring that new constructions meet all necessary codes and standards for flood mitigation. This proactive approach not only protects the building and its occupants but also contributes to the overall flood resilience of the community.

Invest in Robust Flood Protection Products

High-quality barriers are essential tools that can significantly reduce the impact of flooding on properties and infrastructure. These products are custom-made for the property and can withstand the test of time and evolving climate conditions.

While the initial cost may be higher, the long-term benefits far outweigh the investment - especially when we consider repair and recovery expenses, insurance premiums, and the health and safety for all who use the property. 

Final Thoughts

The increase in flooding in America’s inland areas is a complex issue driven by multiple factors. Addressing this challenge requires leaders, experts, and the community working together. By tackling this issue head-on, we can protect our communities, preserve valuable resources, and ensure a sustainable future.