By Matt Bradley KVLY-TV updated 2:23 p.m. CT, Thurs., Feb. 12, 2009
This week’s rain has improved prospects for springtime flooding, by melting a good portion of the snow pack. But there’s still a good chance for significant flooding.The city of Fargo owns about 40 pumps to help in the flood fight. In the past they have rented half-a-dozen or so more once the flood hit. But this year, they’re already laying claim to those rental pumps, so there’s no scrambling in the spring.
This time of year, if it’s not removing snow, it’s probably spring flooding that’s on the mind of Fargo public works director Al Weigel. Weigel: “We’re definitely taking a look at it with the flood predictions – everybody’s getting a little antsy with the amount of snow that we had.”Throughout the winter, crews have been getting the city’s pumps and other flood-fighting equipment ready. Weigel: “We just want to be a little further ahead of the game and not have to worry about our equipment.”
The deadline they’re working on might be a good one for homeowners to consider: Weigel: “We’re gonna be ready with our pumps and everything by mid-march.” That’s a month away – which is why insurance agents like Penny Crowder say to act now, for your own flood preparations. Crowder: “If you’re on the fence, you should have a policy.”There’s a 30-day waiting period before policies go into effect – so to be ready by mid-march, you have to buy in the next few days. Because once the floodwater hits, cleanup costs rise quickly. Crowder: “You have to tear out everything and clean and sanitize and haul stuff away – those costs add up quicker than a lot of people realize.”And that’s one reason why Penny Crowder is not only an agent – a flood insurance policy owner – for peace of mind. She says something to keep in mind: flood insurance is a federal government program – and it’s only designed to bring your home back to a livable state. So it’ll cover drywall, and utilities, like a water heater, softener, washer-dryer and air conditioner. But it won’t cover things like furniture, carpet, or a TV.You’re expected to bring those items to higher ground before the flood hits. So, coverage is limited…you may wonder, does that count for bi-level homes, too? Yes, flood insurance will only cover the cost of getting a home back to bare bones, livable condition.