1.1M Southern California homes face risk of flash flood damage

Data indicates 21% of residential properties at risk, with hazard higher in urban areas

1.1M SoCal Homes Face Risk of Flash Flood Damage

Double-barreled storms across Southern California this month caused hundreds of mudslides — and highlighted an increasing risk of flooded homes.

One in five residential properties, or 1.1 million houses, condominiums and apartments across six Southland counties, have a moderate or greater risk of suffering damage from flash floods, the Orange County Register reported, citing risk data from CoreLogic.

It defined flash floods as “when precipitation rates are greater than the speed at which water drains into the ground surface.”

Overall, 21 percent of local housing face the risk of floods, according to the Register.

Urban areas like Los Angeles have a high risk of floods because abnormal amounts of rain can’t drain into the soil on streets, parking lots and concrete surfaces.

Streets can overflow with rain, creating rushing creeks that cause damage. Mountain slopes funnel deluges onto the flats, creating more flooding.

Weather gurus tell the Register such storms will be more frequent as the region grapples with climate change. Also, property owners should know that typical home insurance policies don’t  cover flood damage, so a separate flood policy is required.

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An average home in Southern California would cost $454,000 to rebuild, assuming a flooded home was a complete loss. That adds up to a $487 billion replacement risk across the region.

CoreLogic estimates that 28 percent of the 1.1 million Southern California homes facing flash flood risk have an elevated risk of damage. That’s 305,224 homes at greater risk of harm.

The areas at highest risk include Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, according to the Register.

In Los Angeles, 420,585 homes are at risk, with 27 percent of those properties in higher danger. In Riverside, 211,418 are at risk, with 39 percent at higher danger. In San Bernardino, 156,987 are at risk, with 31 percent at higher danger.

Orange, San Diego and Ventura Counties were at far less risk, with around 21 percent of homes in higher danger.

— Dana Bartholomew

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