50 Years After Hurricane Agnes, PA Officials Urge Buying Flood Insurance
Tuesday, July 5, 2022
As hurricane season kicks into full gear, Pennsylvania officials are reflecting on the impacts of Hurricane Agnes 50 years ago, and urging property owners to consider getting flood insurance to protect their homes.
Hurricane Agnes was the costliest big storm to hit the United States at the time in 1972. It affected much of the East Coast, but Pennsylvania was hit the hardest, with more than 3,000 businesses and 68,000 homes destroyed.
Michael Humphreys, acting insurance commissioner for Pennsylvania, said natural disasters create hardship and stress for property owners left to deal with the aftermath.
"There are too many Pennsylvanians who have lost everything and didn't have flood insurance to help them rebuild," Humphreys recounted. "Even if your property is outside a federally designated Special Flood Hazard area, and you are not required to buy flood insurance by your mortgage lender, you should consider flood insurance. The risk of flooding doesn't go away just because you paid off your mortgage."
Just last summer, Tropical Storm Ida caused severe flooding damage throughout the Commonwealth, with cleanup costs estimated at $100 million. People looking to purchase a home or property should do their research before buying to determine if the area has had previous flooding.
Randy Padfield, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, said flooding continues to be the most common natural disaster experienced in the Commonwealth. He said over the past 28 years, 90% of flooding incidents in the state have occurred outside the Special Flood Hazard Zone, meaning places that have never seen flooding before.
"Please take the first step and at least inquire as to what a policy would cost," Padfield urged. "You may be surprised to how affordable a policy is, depending on your individual circumstances and the peace of mind it affords you and your family."
There is more information on the National Flood Insurance Program and other resources in the event of severe flooding on the state Insurance Department's website. In most cases, there is a 30-day waiting period after purchase before flood insurance policies become active.
get more stories like this via email
Voting-rights advocates are suing the state of Arizona over new regulations they say make it harder for some people to register and would block thousa…
New Hampshire ranks second in the country on measures of child well-being, according to the new 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey …
Massachusetts ranks first in the nation for children's well-being, according to the 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation…
Minnesota once again gets a high ranking among states for child well-being, but an annual report says the state's disparities remain a challenge…
Some measurements of children's well-being show warning signs in Iowa in the area of education. The numbers contrast with Iowa's overall ranking in a …
Health and Wellness
Nearly a dozen Iowa youths with disabilities are taking newly developed leadership skills out into the world. A summer academy wrapped up this month…
A coalition of community organizations teamed up in Oregon to force a chronic polluter out of business, and bring environmental justice to a nearby …
Health and Wellness
During National Health Center Week, health-care advocates are highlighting the work Community Health Centers are doing to improve access to care …