Flood control walls, dikes or dams serve to protect and reduce damage. But particularly given the rising intensity of weather phenomena, the potential hazard remains a realistic threat, as dikes can break, flood walls can be deluged and dams overtopped. In all your proactive measures, it is crucially important that you detect the weaknesses at your location in order to undertake very targeted, appropriate, additional precautions for your property’s flood protection.
The points at which creeks and rivers pass through narrow stretches, including at bridges and culverts, are the spots prone to be blocked by flotsam, with the result that hardly any water can flow through the usual passage. The formation of such debris jams are a common threat during flood events. The problem specifically is that larger volumes of water with a high flow velocity can suddenly force through the jam, carrying away a particularly large amount of flotsam. This then frequently causes devastating damage by expanding the extent of the flooding and creating expansive deposits above the point where the debris jam occurred.
Therefore, pay attention to bridges or culverts on the waterways in your neighbourhood. The potential flooding areas shown in maps can quickly expand in the wake of a debris jam. You can also contribute to reducing this risk of having a lot of loose materials accumulating during a flood to create a large mass and a large mess by taking care in your own backyard. Make sure that you do not have material that could potentially contribute to a debris jam, such as all kinds of kitchen and garden waste, as well as bulky and construction waste.
What do you know about the condition of your home’s foundations?
The stability of buildings in the immediate vicinity of a river or brook may be at risk in the event of incorrect construction. In the worst cases, the foundations of the building can be washed out. And the longer the flood lasts, the more soil is removed from under the foundation. The resulting lack of earth under the foundations can even lead to the building’s subsidence.
Flotsam is another underestimated threat of damage to buildings. It is not just the side of the building facing the oncoming flood that will be affected; all side walls can suffer scratches and impacts caused by flotsam.