That has been the story this week for too many Rhode Islanders. The Blackstone and the Pawtuxet Rivers have crested at nine feet over flood stage and could go higher. This is after previous rain storms had saturated the ground, swelling rivers and streams. Many are learning how much of their property and belongings are a "Total loss". A storm of this magnitude has not occurred in over 100 years; so many of these properties were not in the "100 year floodplain" and flood insurance was not required, or necessary. Those that did have a flood insurance policy with FEMA are finding out how the hard way what their policy does not cover. Warwick Mall, a regional retail shopping center anchored by Macy's and JC Penny, has sustaiined damage from four feet of flood water. Sewage treatment plants have shut down due to loss of elecrical power, or being sinply overwhelmed by the quantity of water. Residents have been advised not to flush their toilets, many are without power, sump pumps are burning out due to constant use, retailers quickly sold out of pumps. The elderly have been especially hard hit; many living alone and now without heat and/or electricity. Small businesses face the prospect of being closed indefinitely - after already enduring one of the worst economic downturns in recent memory.
Realtors are facing a multitude of problems, issues and concerns that they have never before had to deal with. Property listings that have flooded basements and the owner is out of the country; Closings scheduled but Lenders are now requiring another appraisal and inspection which could cause the Buyers to lose their Mortgage Committment; Flood Insurance may now be required by Lenders where it was not required previously; Agents have Final Inspections and the Buyer sees all of the neighbors houses with hoses pumping thousands of gallons of water out onto the street or, worse, onto the property of the listing. The "cost" of this rain storm is going to be virtually incalculable. The main reason it is going to be so immense is that it is so un common for this part of the country to receive so much water in such a short period of time. Some areas received 30% of their annual rainfall in two days. Rain that fell on ground that was already saturated from previous rains.
What weather-related horror stories do you have?
Until the next time,
Be Healthy, Wealthy, and DRY.
Luca Commercial Group