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Tennessee Officials Offer Flood Advice

Some are comparing last week's Tennessee flooding to May 2010, when torrential rains in two days resulted in deaths and widespread property damage. (Nashville.gov)
Some are comparing last week's Tennessee flooding to May 2010, when torrential rains in two days resulted in deaths and widespread property damage. (Nashville.gov)
February 12, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In the wake of record-breaking flooding across Tennessee, the Department of Commerce and Insurance and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners are sharing tips to help homeowners stay afloat, financially.

According to the National Weather Service in Nashville, the city's average rainfall total for February was exceeded within the first week of the month. Kevin Walters of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance said it's important to prepare now for the possibility of more storms.

"We want to tell people to be prepared in the event of future flooding events,” Walters said. “So remember, where it can rain, it can flood. And an inch of water in a home could cause more than $25,000 in damages."

Walters said it's important to know the evacuation routes in your community in the event of flooding. And if you're staying in your home during a flood event, move valuable items and documents to higher ground.

Flooding is the most common and expensive type of natural disaster in the U.S., according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Yet data from a 2016 FEMA report on active flood-insurance policies revealed many Tennesseans are not covered. And Walters said renters and homeowners need to be aware that the insurance coverage they have likely has limitations.

"The most important thing to understand about flood insurance is what it isn’t,” he said. “Flood damages are not typically covered through most homeowners' or renters' insurance policies. And flood insurance can be purchased through an agent or insurer participating in a National Flood Insurance Program, which FEMA manages."

More information on flood insurance and flood preparedness is available from FEMA at floodsmart.gov.

Antionette Kerr, Public News Service - TN