Forecasters are predicting heavy rains throughout north Georgia for Tuesday, December 22 and are warning that this could lead to flooding in the Smyrna area. Unseasonably warm and moist conditions may cause multiple rounds of heavy rainfall which could reach as much as five inches through the end of the week.

Particular Danger
According to the National Weather Service, forecasters are particularly concerned about rainfall on Tuesday night into Wednesday. It is expected that creeks and rivers in the area could overflow as the will be unable to accommodate the sudden heavy rains, leading to sporadic flooding of streets. The weather is supposed to clear by the weekend, but the danger of flooding may not end with the rain, forecasters say.

2013 Flood Map Changes
In 2013, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources released new flood insurance rate maps designed to show the extent of flood risk in the Upper Chattahoochee River Region, which includes Cobb County. The new maps went into effect in March 2013. Flood insurance is required under federal law in areas that are rated at a high risk for flooding. Even lower risk areas can experience flooding making it the most common and costly natural disaster in the country. Nearly 25 percent of flood insurance claims actually occur in lower-risk areas. Homeowners can view their flood risk by visiting the Georgia Flood Map website and entering their address.

Protecting Property from Flooding
When flooding is expected, there are things you can do to protect your property. If possible, elevate critical utilities, such as appliances, electric panels, heating and cooling systems or other electrically-powered devices. If you have a sump pump installed, be sure that it is working properly. Install a batter-operated backup system for the pump in case the power goes out during the storm. Install a water alarm in your basement as an added precaution. Clear all debris from gutters and downspouts and move any valuables to a safe place. If flooding is expected to be severe, evacuate your home before the flooding begins. If you do not evacuate before flooding begins, do not attempt to enter flooded areas or moving water, even if the water appears shallow.

National Weather Service Alerts
In order to properly prepare for a flood, it is important to understand the differences between the four warnings issued by the National Weather Service. A Flood Watch indicates that flooding is possible and that you should be prepared to evacuate or move to higher ground immediately. A Flood Warning indicates that flooding is already occurring or is about to occur. A Flash Flood Watch indicates that a flash flooding is possible while a Flash Flood Warning indicates a flash flood is already occurring or is about to occur. Flash floods are the most dangerous types of flood as they are unpredictable. A flash flood occurs when excessive water fills dry creeks or river beds along with already flowing bodies of water, causing the water to rise rapidly in a short amount of time.

With flooding a possibility over the holidays, Waggoner Insurance wants your family to be safe. Contact them today to learn how better to protect your family and property even during severe weather. A simple phone call or click of the mouse can provide your family with the life, health, property and auto insurance you need to know that they will be protected should the worst happen.