Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Prepare Your Home For Floods
The most flood prone zones are low-lying areas in the path of, or near, natural drainages such as rivers, lakes, swamps or canyons. Desert arroyos or “washes” are notorious for flash floods. Coastal lands can be flooded by storm surge during tropical storms and hurricanes. Small streams and gullies, creeks and culverts can become awash during a major rain event or sudden snowmelt upslope.
Manmade floods can hit downstream land when a community water storage tank, irrigation canal, levee, dike, or dam fails. And once the water starts flowing, there's not much you can do to stop it, other than pile sandbags around your house and hope for the best.
But, rather than wait for the crisis to hit, and then run around in a furious attempt to save your home, do a little planning in advance.
Analyze your property to discover where the flood waters might possibly come from in a worst case scenario. Then take steps to landscape or “terraform” your yard to mitigate the potential for flood damage.
That might include the creation of "natural" drainages that will channel excess water away from the house and other buildings. And you can landscape with raised flower beds, garden areas, or other features that create attractive and functional berms around the buildings, shaping the land to serve as a barrier against water intrusion.