With our proximity to the Potomac River, we enjoy its beauty and countless recreational opportunities. With this proximity, however, we are faced with unique flood risks. This risk is nothing new. Flooding has threatened life and destroyed property since Alexandria was first settled in 1695. As new developments and redeveloped areas spring up along the Potomac and its feeder creeks, understanding flood risk is more important than ever.
Alexandria is prone to flooding in many areas. Some of the key flood zones along the Potomac include New Alexandria, Old Town Alexandria from roughly Lee Street to the Waterfront, Belle View, Huntington on Cameron Run, Hooff’s Run from Rosemont to Carlyle, areas along Four Mile Run, Yacht Haven, and more. For some additional perspective, nearly 20% of the City of Alexandria is in a high risk flood area, so know your zone. To determine the flood zone of your home, or prospective home, we’re here to help.
Knowing your zone and risks associated with it is just half the battle. Here are some critical protection measures you can take to protect your home during a flood event:
- Prepare a safety kit with food, water, first aid, blankets, and flashlights.
- Place sandbags in front of doorways and other entry points. Depending on the expected severity of the storm, the City of Alexandria may have sandbags available at certain pickup locations.
- Elevate valuables, furniture, and equipment.
- Make sure your sump pump is operating properly and that the back up battery is charged.
If these mitigation techniques fail, you will be responsible for financing your property’s rehabilitation unless you have flood insurance. Your homeowners policy does not cover flooding. Since both the City of Alexandria and Fairfax County participate in the National Flood Insurance Program, we have the ability to purchase flood insurance in accordance with the mandatory 30 day wait period. Do not wait until the threat of a major storm to try to purchase flood insurance. It won’t work.
As residents of Alexandria, we are blessed with easy access to one the largest rivers in the United States. Don’t let the beautiful views completely distract you from the risks at hand. Know your zone, know the risks, and have a plan in place to protect your family and property.
With 35 years of experience handling flood insurance, Clarke & Sampson is an expert resource on the National Flood Insurance Program, Alexandria flood zones, personal and commercial flood insurance, elevation certificates, and flood insurance underwriting.