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Charlotte Flooding Might Surprise Many Homeowners

Charlotte Flooding Could Be A Surprise For Many Homeowners

Charlotte flooding is not a common occurrence. While we all wait for Hurricane Florence, it is somewhat comforting that in 2016 the Charlotte City Council endorsed numerous plans instrumental to the higher flood rating, providing groundwork for flood mitigation and the reduction of future flood losses. These plans are often difficult to implement in larger cities with other competing needs. Charlotte is now the highest rated major metropolitan city and in the top 1% of all CRS participating communities in the United States.

A 2016 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) review of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services’ (CMSWS) flood risk management activities has recognized Charlotte as one of the top cities in the nation. FEMA and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety will make a presentation to Charlotte City Council on Monday, May 22 by announcing that the City has ascended to a Community Rating System (CRS) Class 4 rating.


Reaching Class 4 is a major benefit for Charlotte residents. Not only does it translate to a 30% reduction in premiums for policyholders, it is a recognition of decades of preparation to mitigate flooding before, during and after a storm,” explained Dave Canaan, County Division Director. “Managing Charlotte flooding for future growth, buying out structures at risk of repeated flood losses, expanding greenways, strong building codes, and creating a flood notification system are just a few of the things that make this community safer and more livable.

Is Charlotte Homeowners Prepared For Hurricane Florence|Time Will Tell

Is Charlotte HomeownersMake no mistake about it. There will be many 100 year Charlotte flooding records broken because of Hurricane Florence. So be prepared. Do not take this event lightly. When Hurricane Hugo hit, Charlotte residents were without electricity for several weeks.

Canaan also warned against complacency. “Make no mistake, Charlotte flooding is a natural occurrence in our floodplains. Charlotte must continue to lead by communicating the dangers of flooding, mapping flood hazard areas to prevent unsafe development, engaging Charlotte Fire Department when waters rise, and returning floodplains back to their natural state to prevent future losses and filter pollutants.” Now that Charlotte is looking down a double barreled shotgun with Hurricane Florence, we will see how effective the 2016 planning was in preventing large scale Charlotte flooding.

South Charlotte flooding

Now that Charlotte is looking down a double barreled shotgun with Hurricane Florence, we will see how effective the 2016 planning was in preventing large scale flooding.

What makes Charlotte So Vulnerable To Tree Damage

As you have probably already heard, downed trees are in the forecast for Charlotte and most of North and South Carolina. Because of the heavy rain, age of trees, type of soil makeup and wind Charlotte could suffer major tree damage. Once the soil is saturated then it takes very little wind to topple large top heavy trees. It has been 15 years since Charlotte trees have been tested against mother nature. Inspect trees around your property for any areas of concern. Try not to sleep under large trees during the storm if possible.

Flood Prevention

Elevate, Waterproof and Clear Debris

Your goal now, before a flood occurs, is to reduce the risk of damage to structures from flooding. This means elevating critical utilities, such as electrical panels, switches, sockets, wiring, appliances, and heating systems, and waterproofing basements. In areas with repetitive Charlotte flooding, areas consider elevating the entire structure. Make sure that basements are waterproofed and that your sump pump is working and then install a battery-operated backup in case of a power failure. Installing a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement. Clear debris from gutters and downspouts. Anchor any fuel tanks. Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place. If flooding is imminent then the use of sandbags might be necessary. 

As much as possible, try to ensure that all the gutters as well as drains in your area are appropriately cleared. This is so that further Charlotte flooding is prevented especially during the bouts of long and heavy rainfall that usually accompany strong hurricanes.

Clean Those Gutters and Drains

What To Do After A Flood

What To Do After A Flood

The first thing you will need to do after a flood is make sure that it’s safe for you and your family to be on the property.

  • DO beware of rodents, snakes and insects that might have come in with flood waters
  • DO smell for gas and look for damaged power and gas lines, foundation cracks and exterior damage
  • DO look for broken pilings, shifted stairs, slanted floors and walls
  • DO turn off water and power (unless you would have to do so while standing in water)
  • DON’T enter your home or business if you see major structural damage
  • DON’T walk on sagging floors or floors above sagging ceilings
  • DON’T use electrical appliances or turn on ceiling fans and lights if the ceilings are wet

Once you’re ready to start the cleaning process, it’s important to prioritize. At this stage:

  • DO check that your running water is safe to drink and to use for cleaning
  • DO flush your toilet before you use it to check for clogs from mud and debris
  • DO check for cabinets and other items that may be ready to fall over
  • DO temporarily patch holes in the walls and roof with plastic wrap and repair floors and roof sections with 4X4s if you can do so safely
  • DO remove debris
  • DO remove water trapped in walls
  • DO open all the doors and windows to improve ventilation
  • DO use a wet vac, shop vac, fans, dehumidifiers and desiccants (materials that absorb moisture) to start drying out the property
  • DON’T drain a flooded basement too quickly, because rapid changes in pressure could cause the foundation to collapse
  • DON’T do structural or electrical work yourself
  • DON’T connect generators to the home’s power system, but plug in fans and appliances directly
  • DON’T use generators, grills, camp stoves or charcoal inside homes or within closed areas
  • DON’T use a household vacuum to remove water and mud
  • DON’T let garbage pile up, as it could exacerbate contamination and house pests
  • DON’T leave pools of standing water, which could become breeding grounds for mosquitoes

Putting it All Back Together After The Flood

Once these major issues are handled, you can start on the water damage cleanup and flood restoration itself.

  • DO wear protective clothing, boots and rubber gloves
  • DO wash your hands often with soap and water
  • DO remove all wall coverings and throw them out, as they may harbor mold
  • DO remove drywall, finished ceilings and most insulation that’s been in contact with flood water
  • DO throw out permeable materials such as padded furniture and foam rubber
  • DO throw out all exposed food, beverages and medicine, including canned goods
  • DO disinfect dishes and other items with soap and hot water, but throw out all soft plastics
  • DO clean hard surfaces with hot water and soap or detergent
  • Do wipe down wooden items and, if possible, take them elsewhere to dry out
  • DO preserve items such as books, documents and photographs in re-sealable bags and freeze them to be cleaned later
  • DO place aluminum foil or wood blocks in between wet floors and the legs of furniture that can’t be moved
  • DO make a list of the damage and take photos or videos
  • DO keep a piece of damaged floor and wall coverings to show your insurance assessor
  • DO check with your mortgage holder before cashing home insurance checks, especially if the damage is extensive

Should You Call a Professional Restoration Service?

Charlotte flooding is rare, but when it happens you need help. Cleaning up after a flood is a lot of work and it is possible to do much of it yourself. However, the costs in time, supplies and machinery rental escalate quickly. Furthermore, you may need professional contractors to do the work to be eligible for home and flood insurance reimbursements or to acquire building permits. If you would like expert help with your flood cleanup or simply want a second pair of eyes for safety, call South Charlotte Home Service! Click here for Google 5-Star Charlotte Storm damage repair professional.

South Charlotte Storm Damage Repair