The dangers of street flooding can be costly. We’ve all read about people who drown while driving through flooded underpasses. But other dangers exist, too. Costly ones.
On Tuesday 1/24/23, the Lake Houston Area received a 5-year rain. Streets flooded throughout the area because storm sewers are generally designed to carry 1- to 2-year rains.
So, water backed up into streets. When cars and trucks tried to plow through the ponding water, they set up waves that slapped against people’s homes. This video dramatically shows what those waves can do.
And when the ponding water rises over the level of your tailpipe, it will choke your engine and stall your car. It can also flood the interior and ruin your electronics.
It’s impossible to tell the depth of water accurately in these situations.
Progressive Insurance lists common problems with flood-damaged cars. Flooded vehicles can easily turn into total losses. “Flooded cars are often declared a total loss because repairing water damage is complicated and costly,” they say. “A total loss means the insurance company has determined that the damage cannot be repaired safely, or the cost to repair the vehicle is more than the value of the car.”
So, your best bet is to stay home and watch Wheel-of-Fortune reruns until the water recedes.
The roads cleared about an hour after the homeowner took these photos. The dangers of street flooding disappeared down the storm drains.
Diagnosing Street Flooding Problems
If your street flooded and the streets around you didn’t, you may want to call authorities and have them see if your storm sewers are blocked.
You might also be interested in seeing if the storm drain inlets are located at the lowest points on your block. Here’s how to check the elevations.
Finally, examine the storm drain inlets and make sure you have sufficient drainage. There are many different sizes and types.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/26/23
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