There are multiple types of flooding that can cause significant property damage and losses to insurance companies..

Executive Summary

Catastrophe risk expert Karen Clark explains different types of floods and contrasts the challenges of modeling storm surge and inland flooding. Catastrophe modeling for storm surge associated with hurricanes is straightforward, although detailed data is required. By contrast, a lack of data and the absence of a predictable pattern for the occurrence of future inland flooding suggest that fully transparent, scenario-based approaches will provide more meaningful results for inland flood risk than opaque catastrophe models, she says.

One is the flooding associated with storm surge from hurricanes.

Hurricanes can cause the coastal waters to rise several meters leading to the inundation of low-lying areas along the coast. Storm surge is measured as the difference between the height of the storm tide and the astronomical tide, and is produced when the force of hurricane winds pushes water toward the shore

The most vivid recent example of flooding from storm surge was caused by Superstorm Sandy, which inundated many coastal neighborhoods in New Jersey and the boroughs of New York City. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused record storm surge heights of 28 feet near Pass Christian, Mississippi. Other notable surge-producing U.S. hurricanes are the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and the Great New England Hurricane of 1938.

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