What Is a Floodplain?

This “What is a Floodplain?” blog was written by Flex Seal in collaboration with Flex Seal Ambassador Dr. Reed Timmer. Photos by Flex Seal Studios.

Over 30 million people across the United States currently live in floodplains. In fact, you may be living in one right now and not even know it.

In this Q&A, Dr. Reed Timmer, Extreme Meteorologist, Storm Chaser and Flex Seal Ambassador, answers the question: “What is a floodplain?”

Q: What is a Floodplain?

A: Essentially, a floodplain is an area of low-lying ground that’s susceptible to being inundated by floodwaters. Some examples are locations by a river or channel, a coastal area, or low-lying land that can overflow with water after heavy rainfall. Floodplains are categorized as either 100-or 500-year zones.

A 100-year floodplain is considered a high-risk flood zone and has a 1% annual chance of flooding, while a 500-year floodplain is a moderate risk zone with a 0.2% chance of flooding each year.

Those numbers may seem small, but many floodplains can experience flooding regularly, which puts residents who live or work in one at risk. If you aren’t sure whether you live in a floodplain, I highly recommend looking at a floodplain map of the areas around your residence and workplace. Doing so can help you better understand what flood zone you’re in and the flood risk level that goes along with it.

Although living in a floodplain can increase your chances of experiencing a flood, there are also benefits to residing in one. Floodplains are known to have scenic views and are typically excellent environments for agriculture due to plentiful amounts of water and rich soil. They also can provide fun recreational opportunities, like fishing, boating, and bird watching. These are just a few reasons floodplains make an attractive place to call home for many.

While these may be popular places to live, it’s essential to understand the increased flood risk. If your home is in a floodplain, make sure you know how to prepare for a flood so that you and your family can be ready if flooding heads your way.

By Paula Falcon

Paula is an Editor at The Flex Seal Family of Products, where she focuses on writing and editing articles for the company’s blog.

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