Owning a home in the greater Houston area can be a rewarding experience for many. While having a space to retreat to for comfort and to build new memories in can be a great joy for those entering into homeownership, it can also bring about several concerns – importantly, whether or not the home you plan to move into is located within one of Houston’s most flood-prone areas. Knowing where exactly these areas are located can help future homeowners know what to anticipate before they move in.
Top Flood Prone Areas in Houston
The greater Houston area is no stranger to flooding events. From the disastrous flooding caused by Hurricane Allison in 2001 to the extreme floods caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and every other rising water and/or flood event in between, it’s no wonder why our city poses cause for concern for homeowners.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), from 1996 to 2015, Harris County experienced 96 days with at least one report of flooding or flash flooding. Overall, this equates to an average of four or five days of flooding each year during that period – even in the late fall and winter months. Aside from major events like hurricanes and tropical storms, regular thunderstorms tend to flow and stall near the Gulf Coast, causing rain to quickly accumulate, often resulting in flooding.
With this in mind, homeowners and prospective homeowners need to know exactly where Houston’s most flood-prone areas are. This is especially important because even though Houston is so vast, inland areas can and do still see large amounts of flooding. This was especially true during Hurricane Harvey when areas outside of the city’s floodplain were among those that experienced the most significant amounts of flooding.
Some of the top flood-prone and high water areas and streets in Houston include:
- Brays Oak, Including Bob White, Millbanks, and Ravensworth
- Central Southwest, Including Paddington and Holmes Road
- Greater 5th Ward, Bringhurst, Jensen Drive, and Cline
- Greater Heights, Including Houston Avenue and 26th Street
- Greater Uptown, Including Ella Lee, Pagewood, Judalon
- Greenway/Upper Kirby, Including Suffolk
- Kingwood Area, Including Chestnut Ridge, Northpark Drive, Hidden Pines, Brookdale, Bassingham, Valley Rose, Royal Glen, Creek Manor, Golden Willow, Shady Maple, Shady Gardens, Saint Andrews, and Garden Village
- Lake Houston, Including Sunny Glen and Shore Shadow
- Medical Center Area, Including Holcombe Boulevard and Fannin
- Memorial, Including Wax Myrtle
- Meyerland, Including Beechnut
- Midtown, Including Bremond and Anita
- Northside/Northline, Including Shepherd Drive and Nordling
- Sharpstown, Including Bellerive
- Spring Branch Area, Including Woodvine, Stillwood, and Campbell
- Trinity/Houston Gardens, Including Laura Koppe
- Washington Avenue/Memorial Park, Including Center, Kiam, Tyne, Malone, and Birdsall
How Flooding Impacts Houston Homeowners
Flood damage can have a major impact on homeowners. Not to be confused with water damage, flood damage is often much more difficult to deal with. Water originating from a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tropical storm causes floods, while other types of water damage can be caused by relatively minor events such as plumbing leaks. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a flood is a partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties.
Flood events can result in a variety of issues including structural damage to a home. When a flood happens quickly, the sheer force of the moving water can result in direct damage to a home’s foundation, siding, and walls. This structural damage can get worse the longer standing water is present in the home, as wood and drywall become increasingly compromised. Even after floodwaters recede, the wood will remain waterlogged for a long time unless special efforts are made to dry it thoroughly.
Floods can also cause great damage to the electrical wiring and related components of a home. Although pure water is a poor conductor of electricity, floodwater is different in that it is full of electrolytes that can make it a good electrical conductor. This can make it incredibly dangerous to return to the home after a flood without the proper gear. This is because all floodwater contains dissolved ions that can not only create the risk of electrocution hazards but can also corrode electrical equipment they come into contact with. Electrical receptacles, appliances, HVAC equipment, switches, and breaker panels are all susceptible to serious damage, even after they are dried out.
Mold and mildew growth can also have a huge impact on a flooded home. While they may take time to grow, visible colonies of mold can appear within 24 to 48 hours after floodwaters have subsided. When left unchecked, these colonies can fill the air with spores which almost always require professional cleanup. Dehumidifiers and fans often need to be deployed to dry them out as thoroughly as possible to prevent further damage. Contaminated wallboards, carpeting, insulation, and upholstered furniture must be discarded. Mold present on porous surfaces like wood, tile, and concrete often has to be physically removed.
Houston Flood Damage
Unfortunately, flooding is a common concern for Houston homeowners. When floods occur, they can have a major impact on entire neighborhoods, cities, and counties. While knowing whether or not your home is located close to or within one of Houston’s flood-prone areas can help you be better informed of the potential risks and obtain the requisite insurance coverage, insurance companies often take advantage of their policyholders. Insurers use bad faith tactics to delay, undervalue, and deny flood insurance claims at the expense of Houston homeowners that have dutifully and timely paid their premiums.
The experienced flood damage attorneys of Dax F. Garza, P.C. know just how upsetting this can be. In these situations, our focus is to ensure all damage is repaired and claims are properly investigated, processed, and paid so policyholders can receive the funds they are entitled to under their policies. If your home has been damaged in a flood, contact our office today to discuss your needs free of charge.