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Help for Homeowners to Guard Against Flooding

Help for Homeowners to Guard Against Flooding

11 September 2014

US - Homeowners and farmers can protect their equipment, other belongings and even lives by understanding that floods can occur in unlikely places, a Purdue Extension disaster education specialist says.

"If you don't think it can happen to you, keep in mind that it has happened to others who thought the same thing," said Steve Cain, Purdue Extension Disaster Education Network homeland security project director.

Parts of Indiana have been hit with deluges of rain in recent days and weeks, raising levels of waterways, especially the Wabash River in western Indiana. The Wabash was at 90 percent capacity this week, according to the US Geological Survey's "Water Watch."

Flooding already has been reported in Porter County in northwest Indiana, Clinton County in central Indiana and Jay and Blackford Counties in the eastern part of the state.

Cain has seen flooding involving more than 60,000 homes since 2008. Some of that involved homes that had never flooded before. He said that when such flooding occurs, it is usually for two reasons:

* Too much rain has fallen on nearby property too quickly. That happened in Jay County this year and in Shelbyville in 2008. Ten to 18 inches of rain in a few days caused flooding in unlikely areas - and not just from overflowing waterways.

* New construction of anything from a wall to a home can result in rain runoff to a home that has never flooded before. Cain said homeowners and farmers should take note of recent changes in landscaping, buildings and other structures around the home or farm. Flood insurance may be the only short-term solution to mitigate this type of damage, he said.

"In the long run, examining the potential for flooding from landscape or building changes and taking steps to prevent water from flowing into the home may prevent flooding," he said.

"Also, becoming aware of community planning and how it may affect widespread flooding is important as we experience more varied weather."

Purdue Extension offers the free publication First Steps to Flood Recovery for homeowners.

TheCropSite News Desk



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