Spring flooding likely again throughout southern Minnesota

Spring flooding likely again throughout southern Minnesota

SOUTHERN MINNESOTA (KEYC) — The rivers have been high the last couple years in southern Minnesota.

With so much snow already on the ground, many are wondering how this could affect flooding in the spring.

“We’ve had a really wet fall. Soil is saturated, streams are running bank full for the most part and local lakes are full,” explained Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Area Hydrologist Todd Piepho.

The past two summers, the communities of New Ulm, Henderson, Mankato, Madelia, Springfield and Wabasso, just to name a few, have all experienced flooding in some capacity.

In fact, the Minnesota River at Mankato measured one of its highest crests in history last March, reaching as high as 26.24 feet.

The threat of flooding has many experts advising people in vulnerable areas to get flood insurance, which you won’t find on your home insurance policy.

“That’s the way they are written and it’s been that way for a long time,” said Chris Willaert, an insurance agent at Farmers Insurance in Mankato.

When home insurance was first introduced, it only covered fire and wind.

Nowadays they cover a lot more, but still don't include flooding.

If you are thinking about purchasing it for the spring, do it quickly, because it doesn’t take effect right away.

“If you take flood insurance out and you take it the day you closed on the purchase of a home, there is no waiting period. If you wait beyond that, you have a 30 day waiting period. It’s not something that you can wait and see if the water is rising before you take out the coverage. It’s something you have to be proactive on,” Willaert explained.

Those guidelines come from the National Flood Insurance Program, not individual insurance companies.

So as nice as 80 degrees may sound, it's about the last thing many homeowners want right now.

“We don’t want to see any more moisture come right now, precipitation or that sort of thing. We’d like to see a long, drawn out melt. Over freezing temperatures during the day and back below freezing at night, just to kind of meter things out,” Piepho commented.

Visit Flood Smart’s website for more information about flood insurance, including how to purchase it for your home.

FloodSmart | Buying Flood Insurance: Guide to Coverage

Just one inch of flood water can cause more than $25,000 in damage to your home. But most homeowners and renters insurance does not cover flooding. Only flood insurance helps you protect your home and savings.

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