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Why everyone should be concerned about flooding
Everyone should be concerned because everyone is at some risk of flooding. And everyone pays for the damage caused by flooding.

Even if your home or business are in a low-risk area, you probably have to drive through an area at high risk of flooding. If the road dips or if it crosses a creek, it's more likely to flood.

Local emergency responders say the natural disaster that poses the biggest risk to Charlotte-Mecklenburg is flooding. That’s because of how frequently it floods in our community and because of the damage to property and disruption of lives.


Flooding along Catawba River in Mecklenburg


When a stream is blocked by debris,
it's more likely to flood.

Flooding is a concern across the entire nation. Every year, more homes in the U.S. are damaged by flooding than by any other natural disaster. One-in-four flood insurance claims comes from low to moderate risk areas. That includes floods that happen outside of mapped floodplains.

Most flooding in Mecklenburg County is caused by heavy thunderstorms or tropical storms.
As Charlotte-Mecklenburg has grown, we've added new roads, homes, businesses and parking lots. That means less open space to absorb rainfall. Excess runoff surges into low-lying areas or into storm drains. Water from storm drains is piped directly into our creeks, which can quickly overflow.

Learn more about why it floods in Charlotte-Mecklenburg

Flooding also can happen when creeks are blocked by debris. Street flooding can occur when storm drains are blocked or storm drain pipes are overwhelmed by the amount of runoff. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services works to clear creek channels and storm drain pipes.

Keep in mind that where it rains isn't always where it floods. Heavy rain can send a wall of water downstream. In addition, creeks often continue to rise for several hours after the rain stops.
Report a blockage or drainage problem

Flooding hits nearly everyone in the pocketbook, even if their own property isn’t flooded. Fast-flowing floodwater scours the stream banks. The soil particles are carried into lakes that supply our drinking water. The cost of cleaning lake water to make it safe to drink can result in higher water bills. In addition, repairing and restoring eroded stream channels costs about $1 million per mile.  


Badly-eroded stream banks can topple trees and
add to sediment pollution