Flood Awareness Week urges Virginians to get flood insurance

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- From last May's heavy rains to this winter's snowstorms, Charlottesville has seen some flooding in recent months.

Maribel Street from the Charlottesville-Albemarle-UVA Emergency Communications Center said last May's floods caused a lot of damage.

"Over 300 homes were affected that weren't in a flood zone and they didn't have flood insurance," Street said.

According to the National Flood Insurance Program, only three percent of Virginians have flood insurance.

That is an issue Governor Ralph Northam is trying to change by designating March 10 to 16 as Virginia Flood Awareness Week.

The week hopes to bring attention to flood risk and insurance.

"At this moment, you're only required to have flood insurance if you live in a flood zone, but we're seeing those flood zones changing, they're being updated," said Street.

Street also said you do not have to live in a flood zone to be impacted.

Twenty percent of all national flood insurance claims are filed by people who are mapped outside of high-risk flood areas.

"There might be low-lying areas on your property that could affect your home, which is what we saw last year," Street said.

It is estimated that one inch of water in a home could cause at least $27,000 in damages.

Street said that even though it is March, there is still a chance of flooding.

"The water is really high right now because of the snow, so just staying vigilant. Walk your property, see if there's anything that's changed in the last couple months with the winter weather we've had," said Street.

For more information on flood risk and insurance, click on the link in the Related Links box.

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