Floods are the most common and widespread of all weather-related natural disasters. According to testimony from Federal Emergency Management Agency representative Michael Grimm, flood damage cost approximately $17 billion each year between 2010 and 2018. Rising sea levels and extreme weather could cause $20 billion of flood damage to at-risk U.S. homes this year, rising to $32 billion by 2051, according to recent research by flood research non-profit First Street Foundation.
There are many causes of flooding. They include heavy rains, storm surge, quickly melting snow, and breaks in dams or levees. A flood can occur within minutes and last a long period of time. No state or territory in the U.S. is spared, and tragically, floods kill more people in the U.S. than tornadoes, hurricanes or lightning.