Water always flows downhill. Consequently, low-lying regions are far more likely to experience severe flooding than more elevated areas. While keeping floods from ever happening is completely impossible, we can and should take measures to minimize the amount of flooding that does occur and prevent extensive damages.
Flood prevention is an interesting science because it’s very difficult to truly prevent a flood from ever occurring. The best we can do is understand which areas are prone to flooding and why, as well as find methods to hold back huge amounts of water. Let’s take a look at how to prevent flooding in low-lying areas.
Where exactly are the floodwaters coming from? If a nearby river tends to overflow or a lower portion of land fills up quickly in heavy rain, try to give the water somewhere else to go. Drainage systems can divert floodwaters to other bodies of water or to pre-prepared spaces set aside for water retention. More ambitious projects could include constructing dams to control nearby rivers or building walls to prevent water from spreading too far.
If a flood is on the way, there’s no time to construct a dam or dig drainage systems. For a quick method of flood protection, consider an inflatable cofferdam like the Aqua-Barrier. This balloon-like dam fills with water and creates an airtight seal along the ground to keep up to 5 feet of water at bay. Once the floodwaters drain, simply deflate the cofferdam and store it out of the way. This strategy will keep your property safe while you plan for a more permanent solution.
Pro Tip: In addition to flood prevention strategies, make sure you’re prepared for other potential issues. Double-check your flood insurance coverage and make sure important documents are stowed in waterproof containers.
Structures and cofferdams will hold back floodwaters, but for a more sustainable solution, develop a long-term plan to reduce flood risk and minimize damage. Maybe a nearby riverbank is eroding away and allowing water to escape. In this case, focus on soil conservation and shoreline restoration. Improve your local flood warning system if you can and stay aware of how your climate and elevation can put you in an at-risk area.
Keeping Flood Damage to a Minimum
Regular floods are an unfortunate part of life for many parts of the world. Thankfully, there are solutions. Local communities should focus their efforts on developing methods to block the water and be ready to handle floods when they do occur.
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