Be prepared against unexpected flooding - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Be prepared against unexpected flooding

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

 Flash flood warnings have been issued for the region and that means intense rain may cause water levels to rise unexpectedly for short periods of time.

As Columbus contractors have discovered, it's not just the homes near lakes and bodies of water that are at risk.

"Some of the areas where the tornadoes went through three or four years ago, the landscape changed and now the houses have a different elevation beside them," said Ron Lucas, owner of R Lucas Construction and Design. "So, people are seeing the water is coming down the hills and ending up in their houses where they've never seen it before. The amount of water we've seen over the last week or two weeks has really saturated the ground."

Becker Surveying Company, best known for its construction staking work, also specializes in helping homeowners meet the requirements necessary to insure their homes against flooding.  They send a crew to examine the land and measure the likelihood of water reaching the lowest finished floor in the house.  Many insurance companies won't insure a house against flooding without that elevation certificate.

Professionals believe the availability of federal funding for victims of natural disasters like flooding is about to decrease.

"The requirements are getting more and more stringent, and the costs are going to go up- is what we've been told- but it's going to generate the need for elevation certificates," said Allison Fletcher of Becker Survey Company.

But it's not just flash flooding that can cause water damage inside the house.  Experts say most potential problems can be solved through simple home inspection and maintenance.

"A lot of people do not clean their gutters, and they may have a small four inch drain pipe in the yard with a lot of gutters draining into it," said Lucas. "Those things can get clogged up without them knowing it. But they should also look at the immediate elevation around the home.  People sometimes stack things against the house. We've seen that several times with dirt from landscapers or whoever.  That causes problems when water gets up and has nowhere to go except down and into the house,"

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