Saturday, September 15, 2018

When you build in a flood plain, plan for flooding. Duh

Every year, after each and every large snowfall or storm, we see those cameras panning mile upon square mile of flooded terrain.  North and South Carolina are now getting hammered with torrential rain, flooding the areas along the coast and inland rivers.  This happens periodically in flood floods. 

This is a re-post, with updated photos of the most recent (and not the last) flood event.  And I will dust this post off again (and again) every time I see flood stricken folk with their hands out to FEMA for taxpayer money to subsidize their past decision to build their homes in a flood plain.  

'Fredd', you say, 'you are one heartless sumbitch, bad mouthing these poor wretches standing knee deep in water in the middle of their living rooms.'  Yes, my heart is pretty darn immune to how this always works: build in flood plains, get flooded, cry in front of the camera and the taxpayer money flows your way along with the flood waters.   My suggestion: don't build in flood plains.  Ever.  They are all well known to geologists, meteorologists and even real estate agents.  Just ask one of these guys where the flood plains are, and they will be able to tell you exactly where they are located.  Then avoid building on them.  Duh. 

And every year at these times, we watch the governors of these flooded states clamor for a microphone and a camera to issue a declaration of a disaster area.  In this way, the federal government will send floods of U.S. taxpayer dollars to them, so that they can pass out relief funds to those unfortunate souls stricken so severely in their time of need, as tears flow from their red eyes nearly as much as the river that caused these tears.

In Illinois in particular (my temporary state of residence, I have vowed not to die here), the floods along the Mississippi happen virtually every year.  My first year in this area was 1993, and they tell me that the flooding that year was a 'one in 500 year event.' Now, only 23 years later, I am being told that the current flood is a 'one in 500 year event.'

If this pattern holds up, we will be hearing in a few years about yet another 'one in 500 year event,' as those poor wretches along the Mississippi are standing hip deep in water in their living rooms.

I can't understand why people who build their homes in flood plains are upset when floods happen (in flood plains).  They truly seem puzzled that their homes are suddenly full of a flood plain.  I am guessing that the costs of this real estate are dirt cheap.  And that it pays off in the long run to simply rebuild every 10 years or so when the river comes along and sweeps their belongings away.

Do not under any circumstances, however, expect even a tiny bit of sympathy from me for these fools.  They are on the TV each and every year, tears running down their cheeks after their homes are destroyed by a flooding river.  I am not buying it anymore.  These tears are probably just part of their long term plans: build in flood plains on the cheap, get flooded out, and then stick your hand out as tears run down your face so that the governor can lay some money on you.  I am not falling for that anymore.  

News to people who build their homes in flood plains (namely along the Mississippi): your home will be flooded, either this year, or next year, or perhaps in 10 years.  But it WILL flood.  That's why they call the flood plain you built your home in a flood plain. IT FLOODS.

If you don't want to get your home flooded, don't build in flood plains.  There are plenty of lands in the US that are high and dry, above the flood plain; thousands and thousands of undeveloped high and dry acres, if not millions of acres, and if you build a home there, no flood will affect your life.  And if you decide to build in flood plains (where it always floods), don't expect the rest of us folk who build homes 'high and dry' to subsidize your decision to build in flood plains, where it floods.



LindaG said...

I have lived in NC, so I will add the idiots who build on the barrier islands to your article. The only insurance they have is from the government, paid for by taxpsyers. (Which I think is what you said.)

We retired to Louisiana. (Hubby's home state.) And they do the same here-build in the flood plains. I will admit that some of the Creole probably never ask for a handout. Ever. But there are other who do, I expect.

Annoying all around.

Unknown said...

Exactly , instead of throwing money at them they should demolish and ban rebuilding , this cointry subsidises far too many fools

Fredd said...

Unknown: I agree, do not issue building permits in flood zones. End of story. Then we won't see this crap anymore, right? Yes, Hoover-villes, Hobo-towns, Shanty-towns, of course will move in.

But nobody like FEMA or other government initiatives will move in and rebuild their shacks if they flood.

Fredd said...

LindaG: those barrier islands are nothing more than sand bars. Building on them guarantees getting washed away every year or two. Nobody should have to pay for that except the retards that build there.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Where I live we had a "500 year" flood in 2013. Since then the city has approved building permits in areas that flooded.

As my sister, an insurance adjuster says, "Weather and stupidity pays my bills".

LSP said...

Fredd, I agree. It's stupid to build your dream house in a flood plain because it'll get flooded and ruined.

But if you do, build high walls and a couple of towers, that way, when it floods, you'll have a CASTLE.

Fredd said...

Fool: your sister will have a never ending supply of revenue, since there's no shortage of either weather or stupidity.

Fredd said...

Reverend: yes, and no need to foot the bill for a moat, that will come free of charge, courtesy of Gaia.

Kid said...

As I'm sure you are well aware Fredd, communities were built near water as most people were farmers, ranchers, or just people who loved to send their wives down to pound the clothes on wet rocks.

I agree on the cheaper home prices and cost of living in states like Mississippi. Well, if you're going to save a ton of money on a house, can you not tether a decent rowboat at least on your property? I knew a really really smart wall street guy living on long island who when notified of the approaching Sandy storm confidently proclaimed he was ready with his generator. He wasn't ready with gasoline and I guess it didn't occur to him that if the power was out the gas pumps wouldn't run, so he and his family got sick from living in the cold aftermath.

Back to the boat. If I lived anywhere that could potentially flood, there would be an aluminum boat nearby and supplies like fresh water and food very near the boat. How hard is that?

I recently read that of NC residents 2% have flood ins and in SC it was 9%, or maybe the other way around. People paying cash for houses because to my knowledge you can't have a mortgage without flood ins if you're in a flood plain, especially when the rain falls mainly on the plain.

Anyway, the biggest profanity generating concept that I believe I will ever hear of when it comes to flooding is spending a billion (or more) to rebuild slums in the sinking delta around new orleans that also has a lake above it. Unreal.

And when I think of those POOR PEOPLE who have lost everything once again, I have a flood of tears on my cheeks, tears of laughter. Yea, taxpayers might be on the hook for the rebuild, but they've been wading around in sewage, and have lost everything once again.

Fredd said...

Kid: moral of the story - the rich live in the shining cities on hills, and the poor live elsewhere, namely in flood plains. I guess I am just too high and mighty to mention this fact of life.

Poor people also live in high crime neighborhoods. If they don't get shot, they get their homes swept away in floods. The rich get richer, and the poor get shot or drowned.

It is the way things have been for quite awhile now.

Kid said...

Fredd, same as it ever was and same as it will ever be. Thinking about future living, maybe high ground in Texas, or in Cottonwood AZ (5000 ft above sea level) or something similar. Taxes and conservative population % will weigh heavily.

Fredd said...

Kid: same here. Moving to Texas (Hill Country) in 2 years, already have the land purchased - on top of a ridge. Surrounded by beet red population.

Property taxes there are nothing to write home to mom about, but on balance a nice place, since you don't have to shovel sunshine, or plan on a photo shoot in knee deep water in your living room.

LL said...

Fredd, you are a heartless Sumbitch for criticizing the witless souls who build in flood plains. What you should be writing is that you're happy seeing your tax dollars going to underwrite the construction industry, and lining the pockets of every petty politician along the way. They would explain to you (patiently) that they need your money more than you do. It's a lot like the insurance industry, and who can't love THEM?

And what about the news casters who have to find a spot deep enough to stand in to scoop the competition. My personal suggestion is that they dig ditches in advance of any storm, and use wire to protect their own personal slew from cottonmouths and gators...or maybe they don't need wire because the snakes show professional courtesy and don't bite THEM.

Fredd said...

LL: we purchased our 9 acre lot in 'Hill Country' Texas (near LSP), maybe 1500 feet above sea level and likely 800 feet above the Guadalupe River. If our new place floods, then the entire planet will look like Kevin Costner's "Waterworld." Ditto with your White Wolf Mine property, that appears to be around 4-5000 feet above sea level, probably higher. That's how you do it. Again, duh.

Municipalities that grant building permits in flood plains should be held accountable when these dummies get flooded, and stick their hands out. And not allow these scummy politicians to pay up with municipal tax dollars - I mean with their own dollars, or jail time, one of the two, they can choose. And no cupcake jail, I mean they should do some real hard time. That oughtta cure these scumbag politicians from screwing everybody in the short and medium term.

And you are right, who doesn't love insurance companies? Just a bunch of lawyers who couldn't get elected to public office, so this is their Plan B: screw people out of their hard earned money by signing them up to no-win contracts (they call them 'policies'), which they themselves write, interpret and enforce. All to the detriment of the poor saps who sign them. Yeah, gotta love those guys.

Don't get me started on those assholes who hold microphones in knee deep water, hoping that the camera man has the good sense to pan the entire area of devastation. Those guys are the worst. Well, maybe not as bad as politicians and insurance companies, but still pretty bad.

LL said...

The White Wolf Mine is at about 7,200 feet above sea level, and the hovel was set into a hole blasted in bedrock on a ridge line, the area (Colorado Plateau) is geologically stable and there are no tornadoes. However, we are situated in a pine forest and from time to time, it will burn, so THAT is my primary concern. A lot of the problem can be mitigated by building a house that is fire resistant with a steel roof, which also deflects hail. The area is not 'brushy' but ponderosa pines do burn if the fire is bad enough.

The census for Happy Jack Arizona is 100% white. While you may be concerned that I'm a racist, I view it as avoiding trouble. There are no mosques in the area because there are no mooselims. The Coconino County Sheriff's Department does not patrol Happy Jack. They will send somebody over if you call them. Otherwise, you are left to your own devices to solve your own problems. The locals are happy with that arrangement.

It's one of the counties that do NOT require smog emissions tests for your car. You can carry any knife, sword, machete, or pocket knife you want to. Likewise you can wear a handgun on your hip if you want to. Arizona is not a 'nanny state' and its welfare benefits are miserly which pushes the parasites to California, where they are generous.

The jails are like boot camp and the male prisoners are forced to wear pink and live in Quonset huts, surrounded by razor wire. As with Texas you don't want to go to prison in Arizona. I'm not sure about the death penalty. Texas fires up Old Sparky more than anywhere else, so you have me there.

Unfortunately there is no way to avoid insurance companies even there. Neither is there a solution to avoid death or taxes. But the taxes are significantly lower than they are in California.

Fredd said...

LL: earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, urban crime, everybody with anything on the ball at all can choose their own level of comfort with peril of some kind that exists everywhere. Happy Jack, AZ; I'll bet that no significant crime has been reported in the last 100 years, other than maybe a drunk Apache threatened somebody with a tommahawk in 1908.

Fire is also the only real natural peril in Hill Country, although Hurricane Harvey in 2017 did extend well inland and our property saw winds of around 50, which is nothing: just a windy day near the Windy City. We will have a metal roof and masonry walls on our shack, as well as cutting down any adjacent combustible foliage that might compromise our fire exposure. Sure, shade is nice, but a house that doesn't burn down is nicer.