The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service announced last week that this summer’s flooding season may be the worst on record. Both the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers are currently overrunning their banks, inundating much of their surrounding areas with water.
There are also several other, smaller rivers , that are also flowing over as well. Some have served as emergency spillovers for larger rivers, but none have been able to stem the flow of the water. Much of the flooding is due to storms far to the north, but a significant amount of it was caused by storms in April, whose disastrous effects still linger.
Jack Hayes, director of the National Weather Services, notes that there is simply nowhere for the water to go. He warns that even modest rainfall could trigger a massive flooding event which could cause widespread damage. Given that the nation is currently in the throes of hurricane season, Hayes’ warning has not fallen on deaf ears.
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Insurance companies in the affected areas have been urging homeowners to purchase flood insurance ever since the storms of April. Relatively few have taken up the urgings, but more are being swayed to purchase such policies given the looming threat. While insurers have been quick in their efforts to protect policyholders and aid in recovery, there is a persistent doubt that the industry will be able to handle yet another disaster. Indeed, the insurance industry can ill-afford any sort of catastrophe at this point, but officials insist that insurers will persevere.