RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — While hurricane season is still a few months away, state statistics reveal that only 3 percent of Virginians have flood insurance in the event disaster strikes.
This is one of the reasons Virginia now has a “Flood Awareness Week.”
In 2004, Hurricane Gaston caused severe flooding in Richmond. Now the city wants to make sure residents are taking steps to prepare now just in case.
“Gaston actually flooded on this side of the floodwall. This whole area was underwater during Hurricane Gaston,” said Clyde Cristman, Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation director.
During Gaston, businesses, roads and bridges were destroyed. Also, about 2,000 cars were ruined in violent floodwaters. The damage cost millions to repair. “Hurricane Gaston was an internal flood situation. It was not a river flood. The floodwall protects us from river floods,” said Richmond’s Storm Water Utility Deputy Director Howard Glenn. “The city has made great strides and improvements on its internal drainage system since Hurricane Gaston.”
Glenn told 8News the city spent more than $20 million in improving drain water infrastructure after Hurricane Gaston, including increasing pipe size and catch basins.
“I think the governor sees that there’s a change in climate. I think just this past year in 2018 the State of Virginia received double or almost double the amount of rainfall it normally averages. We saw well over 60 inches of rain,” Glenn said.
Residents can find out the flood risk of their homes and properties by clicking here.