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Flooding: Is there any escape?

Yesterday in Mississippi--NBC News
Yesterday in Mississippi--NBC News

As the Pearl River ravages parts of Mississippi this week, it’s no wonder I got a viewer email like this one:

Hi there Mr. Billingsley,

I truly enjoy your show; it's jam-packed full of useful information. I was wondering where in America are the sea levels not rising/not floodprone? The mountains? I am looking to move somewhere where it never floods.

Thanks!

Sincerely,

A. Brown

What a seemingly simple question. Where can I move that it never floods? Ask Noah. I think the answer is nowhere. The mountains? A quick google search of Colorado flooding found this government site and this picture:

Colorado Flooding
Colorado Flooding

Or perhaps you are thinking the Northwest, around Seattle or Portland? Perhaps Arizona, the middle of the desert? This pic is from Seattle last year:

Seattle Flooding
Seattle Flooding

And this is in Arizona:

Arizona Wash Out
Arizona Wash Out

And moving straight north to Minnesota won’t do the trick either:

The Nation's Heartland
The Nation's Heartland

Flooding comes from so many places: Hurricanes, thunderstorms, snowmelt, rising rivers, even “atmospheric rivers” like the Pineapple Express from Hawaii to the Northwest that’s been dumping heavy rain since December.

All is not lost. My best advice is to find a community you like not known to have a flooding reputation. From there, do a FEMA search as to how that area is rated for flooding. Here are two good links for you: one for your chosen community and another for an exact address. This can at least give you some guidance as to whether your new home is rated as low, medium or high risk for flooding.

From there, buy or build high and stay insured. Not to rain on your parade, but a lot of areas with low risk of flooding have high risks of landslides, earthquakes, and wildfires.

We live in America with two huge mountain ranges (the Rockies and the Appalachians) and three bodies of water (Pacific, Gulf and Atlantic), all situated in the mid-latitudes (not too hot, not too cold). Between the moisture supply, the cool/hot differences, the lift from mountains and two jet streams, we truly get more types of weather than any other country on Earth. It makes you wonder how the first 300 years of settlers stuck it out.

Frank

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