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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Eel River has history of flooding

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Saturday storms uprooted trees and turned over a shed at Dietz Lake Saturday. Charles Purl submitted this photo.

This weekend's storms gave people in Clay City quite a scare as the rain came down, the Eel River came up and posed the possibility of severely flooding surrounding areas.

Around this time every year the river poses this problem to Clay City residents. The highest the river has ever been was in August of 1875 when the river reached 30 feet. This record flood is unlikely to be broken since the completion of Cagles Mill Dam in 1953.

In 1875, the river was almost 1 mile across and submersed SR 46 and 59 by 2 feet. As a result, there was much rural wreckage and evacuations; all roads and levees in the flood plain were flooded and structures were swept away.

As of Tuesday morning, the Eel River stood at14.89 feet, a great improvement over Monday afternoon at which it was at 18.95 feet. Flood stage for the river is 17 feet, at which time it covers substantial bottomlands and floods a few county roads including the Poland-Bowling Green Road and CR 400 S. If the river rises to 20 feet, livestock in the low flood plain areas may drown, many county and local roads will become widely flooded, people in river cabins would need to move their cars and belongings to higher ground, agricutural land becomes intimidated, and the Poland-Bowling Green Road is impassible.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, if a flood should occur, one should take the following precautions:

Watches / warnings:

- Flood watches are issued when rain is heavy enough to cause rivers to overflow.

- Flood warnings describe the severity of the situation and indicate when and where the flood will begin.

- Flash flood watches are issued when heavy rain is occurring or is expected to occur.

- Flash flood warnings are issued when flooding is occurring suddenly. In the event of flash flooding, move immediately to high ground.

- Educate your family and yourself about your community's flood warnings.


- Plan an evacuation route.

- Develop a plan for you and your family to communicate if you are separated when a flood comes.

Protecting your property:

- If you are moving into a new home, apartment or business location, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage. Your bank, local officials or insurance representative can inform you if your location is at risk of flooding.

- Flood insurance is excluded under homeowners and renters policies, but it is covered under the comprehensive section of standard automobile insurance policies and some coverage is available for floods under special commercial insurance policies.

- Flood insurance for homeowners, renters and businesses is administered through the federal government and can be purchased from an insurance agent or company under contract with the Federal Insurance Administration (FIA), part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (http://www.fema.gov). Flood insurance is only available where the local government has adopted adequate flood plain management regulations under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Most communities participate in the program.

- Flood insurance covers direct physical losses from floods and losses resulting from flood-related erosion caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels and accompanied by a severe storm, flash flood, abnormal tide surge or a similar situation which results in flooding. Flood insurance also may cover mudslides.

- Coverage for the structure and contents of the home are sold separately. Buildings are covered for replacement cost but content coverage is available on an actual cash value basis only.

- Maintain a supply of emergency materials: plywood, plastic sheeting, nails, hammer, shovels, sandbags, flashlight, batteries, battery-operated radio, first aid kit, medication, sturdy shoes, emergency food and water, cash and credit cards.

- Install a system to prevent flood water from backing up in sewer drains.

- Locate switches to turn off gas, electricity and water.

- Make an inventory of your possessions and store it off the premises. If your stuff is damaged, this list will help facilitate the claim filing process

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