Know your risk: Flood zone experts encourage Virginians to consider insurance

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 5:14 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - With localized flooding a concern for some hometowns this week, state experts say there’s no better time to find out your flood risk.

We spoke with Wendy Howard-Cooper and Angela Davis from Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation on the WDBJ7+ Digital News Desk

“We know across the Commonwealth that rainfall is falling at a higher intensity, in larger amounts and for longer duration, and it just really is a matter of climate change,” said Howard-Cooper, Director of Dam Safety and Floodplain Management Programs.

Howard-Cooper said a 2019 report by FEMA found Southwest Virginia and the state’s mountainous regions had more impact from flooding than coastal areas of the Commonwealth. But she said less than 10 percent of the state’s flood insurance policies are for those heavily impacted areas.

She and Davis urged homeowners, business owners and renters to know their flood risk and, if needed, get flood insurance - which likely doesn’t come with standard homeowner or renter’s insurance.

“An inch of flood water in your home can cost up to $25,000 worth of damage and in the Commonwealth there is only about 3.3 percent of the folks who are in the special flood hazard area that have flood insurance,” Howard-Cooper said.

You can learn more about your flood risk here and and more about insurance here.

You can watch the full livestream from the WDBJ7+ Digital News Desk here:

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