Flash Flooding: Preparation Over Restoration
Flash flooding is responsible for more deaths annually than any other type of severe weather. Flooding in dense cities is becoming increasingly devastating as cities grow. Whenever we build a new building, highway, sidewalk or parking garage, we take away an area where water can soak up in the soil like a sponge. The grasslands and wetlands that used to inhabit most of DFW, have been built over with a mountain of interlocked concrete. This accelerates the flow of rainwater which leads to more ‘flash floods’.
A side note: many cities are encouraged to build up walls and barriers along rivers in order to prevent flooding in the area. This is not only ineffective but in turn, makes flooding much worse for others downstream. Rivers need room to transport massive amounts of rainwater and constricting them only is like rubbing dirt on an open wound.
How to protect your home or business from water damage related to excessive rain?
Most of these issues I’ve stated are problems that can only be fixed through smart urban planning and other political actions. In order to get the most effective change and ensure your community minimizes their flood risk is to contact your local congressman or woman through email, phone, or in-person, and explain your concerns for smart flood control in your community. However, we all have seen how unreliable and uncooperative the political process can be. So, what actions can you take immediately?
- The cheapest way is by redirecting your downspouts. Making sure that the water coming off your roof makes it's way to a drainage or water source is important.
- Adding a garden: Since plants absorb water much more efficiently than grass it would be a good idea to introduce a garden to your lawn.
- Rain barrels allow the water coming from your downspout to be reused to water your plants which helps save you money.
There are other measures like dry wells and rain gardens that serve as extra prevention measures, but, they are more costly.