With all the rain we are seeing this morning across Southern Minnesota, it was interesting to see that the New York Times released an article today stating that new data from First Street Foundation in New York show more properties are at risk for flooding than what FEMA has on it's map. For instance in Rice County 660 properties are listed by FEMA as in flood zones, whereas First Street puts the number of properties at 3,110.

Image Credit: New York Times

In Faribault, First Street puts the number of properties at risk for flooding in a major storm at 1,007. 

You can see the FEMA map of counties with flood hazards here. 

According to the website that shows flood risk using the First Street Foundation information floodfactor.com, "the First Street Foundation Flood Model is a nationwide, probabilistic flood model that shows any location’s risk of flooding from rain, rivers, tides, and storm surge. It builds off of decades of peer-reviewed research and forecasts how flood risks will change over time due to changes in the environment."

So what if your home is listed on this website as "being at risk"? Here are some things you can do if you think you should take action according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

1. Evaluate your risk on your own, "FEMA maps should be a starting point, not an endpoint, in your research,” cautions Chad Berginnis, executive director of the National Association of State Floodplain Managers."

2. Buy flood insurance, if you are in a 100-year flood plain.

3. Elevate your furnace/HVAC as they often are in the basement and can spread any mold or mildew that grows inside of it if you were to flood.

4. Install a sewage water backstop.

5. Change your landscaping. "Digging depressions known as swales to channel stormwater runoff away from your house, converting concrete or asphalt driveways to gravel or brick, and using absorbent mulch can help manage heavy rain and reduce potential flood damage" according to the NRDC website. 

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