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Mar-17-2020 21:48printcomments

Winter Floods in NE Oregon Create Need for State of Emergency Declaration

On Feb 7, 2020, Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency in three Oregon counties due to severe flooding, increased snowmelt, landslides, and erosion.

flood
Image: Pete Linforth from Pixabay

(SALEM, Ore.) - The state of Oregon is no stranger to flooding, but what happened recently was completely different. Residents were forced to flee their homes following days of heavy rain.

The month of January was exceptionally wet, the rain and the melting snow determining the rivers to crest their banks.

Evacuation orders were immediately issued and local authorities affirmed that it would take some time before residents could get back to their homes.

The Umatilla River keeps on rising and it’s believed that Oregon won’t lose its flood status for months to come.

After near-record floods, Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency for the flooded Oregon counties Feb 7, 2020. State resources, emergency response personnel, and equipment will be deployed to contribute to the local resources as the unfortunate situation progresses.

The government will enjoy special powers for about 30 days in the following counties: Umatilla, Wallowa, and Union. The life of the nation has been threatened by devastating floods causing widespread destruction. Many are of the opinion that it’s the worst the state of Oregon has ever seen. Last year, Salem, the county seat of Marion County, was struck by a great flood, the Willamette River having reached the highest level since 2012.

The heavy rainfall affected a great many communities in the zone, the flooding is restricted to the areas surrounding the rivers, agricultural land, and parklands. In spite of the fact that the state of Oregon is a great place to live, it has its fair share of extreme weather episodes.

Even under the best circumstances, governmental agencies and emergency organizations cannot protect people from an imminent disaster. What are the social impacts of flooding?

Generally speaking, floods affect individuals, as well as communities. The consequences are, of course, negative. The extent of the damage depends to a high degree on the weather occurrence and the natural or constructed environment that is affected.

Floods can produce destruction in infrastructure and property. In addition to the fact that they have a social impact on citizens. Fixing the damage caused by an overflow of water is costly, to say the least. In what follows, we’ll focus on some of the social impacts of flooding.

Loss of livelihood

Delayed repairs and reconstruction of the affected community also cause problems. Individuals lose the job or the source of income they need to buy much-needed things, such as food, shelter, and clothing.

These individuals lose their livelihoods – in other words, natural, physical, human, social, and financial capital. Communication links and infrastructure are out of function, which means that normal life can’t’ take its course.

The loss of livelihood is evident when it comes down to business and commercial activities. Those who have a bounce forward ability can cope with the natural disaster and move forward.

Mass migration

Flooding can displace millions of people. When water invades their homes, individuals have no choice but to pack their belongings and move to another place so as to get away. Passive flood protection is considered more appropriate.

Those affected by the severity of weather phenomena relocate to developed urban areas, which contributes to overflow. There’s not a state untouched by this. For instance, people from south Florida uproot to Georgia.

Political implications

More often than not, nations are completely unprepared to deal with natural disasters, let alone minimize their consequences. If politicians don’t respond in an effective manner and don’t conduct relief operations during important flooding events, they risk losing the trust of the population and that of the authorities.

Flood insurance – cover for homes at risk in Oregon

Not only does flooding affect everyone, but also it’s one of the most expensive natural disasters in the United States.

In the absence of insurance, it’s too costly to repair or rebuilt the affected property. This is precisely why it’s paramount to be covered by flood insurance.

The role of this type of insurance is to provide disaster assistance and lessen the impact of the rising costs associated with flood damage to buildings, as well as their contents. If a home falls into a high-risk flood area such as Oregon, it’s necessary to take out insurance.

Attention needs to be paid to the fact that flood coverage is available as a separate policy from the National Flood Insurance Program. This means that individuals can acquire coverage from private insurers. Homeowners insurance tends to be more affordable in the south.

A person doesn’t have to dig deep into their pockets to purchase a Florida flood insurance policy. On the other hand, the cost of flood insurance is a little bit higher in Oregon, especially in flood zones. No matter the cost, it’s worth getting protection from financial loss. it’s necessary to be prepared in the face of disaster.

The fact of the matter is that there’s no way of predicting the weather just by paying attention to the signs. Mother Nature can really challenge us at times.

Here are just some of the advantages gained by securing flood insurance:

  • Knowing the home is safe and secure – Many are under the impression that the homeowner’s policy covers for flood damage. It doesn’t. it’s necessary to look into private insurance for additional coverage. The separate policy protects the home and what is found inside in the event of a natural disaster.
  • Flood insurance is relatively easy to purchase – It’s tempting to think that acquiring coverage for one’s home is a complicated process. The truth is that individuals don’t have a hard time finding and securing flood insurance. All one has to do is meet with a reliable firm and discuss the available options.
  • Peace of mind in a changing climate – Human activities have been driving up temperatures and extreme weather is the most common effect. It’s no possible to prevent severe weather events, but it’s possible to protect oneself. Flood insurance provides peace of mind in the sense that one can quickly recover after a devastating event.

The bottom line is that flood insurance is of paramount importance for those living in flood-prone areas. Taking out a policy might very well be the best course of action.

Source: Salem-News.com Special Features Dept.

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©2020 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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