Giving Compass' Take:
- The widespread lack of flood insurance will leave many communities with high repair and rebuilding costs.
- How can disaster relief efforts help fill gaps in flood insurance for California residents?
- Read how disaster survivors are advocating for improved flood insurance.
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California has nearly seen the last of the relentless sequence of storms that inundated the state since late December, leading to tens of thousands of evacuations, at least 20 deaths, and an estimated $1 billion in damages.
From failed levees in the Central Valley counties of Merced and Sacramento to overflowing rivers along the coast, the rains touched almost every part of the state, with many areas receiving four to six times above average precipitation for the past several weeks. Mudslides closed major roads, thousands of homes were flooded, and trees knocked out power lines, with over 13,000 electric customers yet to regain service as of Tuesday afternoon.
Meteorologists expect that by Thursday, the last storm, this time a weaker one, will have cleared from the northern and central parts of California. But in the coming weeks, as flood waters recede and the rains’ full impact comes into view, many residents may find themselves facing a second crisis: A widespread lack of flood insurance that will leave thousands of homeowners grappling with the cost of repairing and rebuilding homes.
“California is a place where the preoccupation about water is about scarcity, not abundance,” said Rebecca Elliott, a professor at the London School of Economics who wrote a book about flood insurance in the United States. “Many, many thousands of Californians will assume that they have flood coverage and find out that they don’t.”
Read the full article about California flood insurance by Blanca Begert at Grist.