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Flood Facts and Statistics

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Flooding is one of the worst types of natural disasters in the world. Below you will find a list of facts on flooding that help to prove it is one of the worst disasters in terms of economic losses and human losses worldwide.

1. Presidential Disaster Declarations

Nine out of ten "Presidential Disaster Declarations" result from natural phenomena in which flooding is involved.

2. The Galveston Hurricane

The Galveston, Texas, hurricane of 1900 killed at least 8,000 people. 

3. The Johnstown Flood

In 1889 a dam break upstream from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, released a 30-40 foot wall of water that killed 2200 people within minutes.

4. Driving in Floods

Nearly half of all flash flood deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Anyone in a vehicle needs a TADD of advice...Turn Around, Don't Drown. A car can easily be carried away by just two feet of floodwater.

5. Flood Death Tolls

According to the NSSL, the 30-year national average for flood deaths is 127. The 30-year average for lightning is 73 deaths, compared with 65 for tornadoes, and 16 for hurricanes.

6. Floods in All States

FEMA notes that floods and flash floods occur in all 50 states. Everyone technically lives in a flood zone.

7. Inland Flooding

According to the National Weather Service, since 1970, nearly 60% of the 600 deaths due to floods associated with tropical cyclones occurred inland from the storm's landfall. In fact, more people are killed by floods than any other weather related cause.

8. Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina, which caused more than $200 billion in losses, constituted the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history according to the US Geological Survey.

9. East Coast Vs. West Coast

The principal causes of floods in the Eastern United States and the Gulf Coast are hurricanes and storms. The principal causes of floods in the Western United States are snowmelt and rainstorms.

10. Government Coverage

Flooding is the only natural hazard for which the Federal government provides insurance: FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.
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