Photo courtesy of South King Fire and Rescue

Photo courtesy of South King Fire and Rescue

Study finds drastic increase in WA properties deemed at-risk of flooding

Analyst suggests climate change is responsible for increased flood risks.

More than 362,612 properties are now at risk of flooding in Washington — a 198 percent increase over previous estimates and the 8th largest increase of all the states in the nation, according to an analysis from the online insurance marketplace QuoteWizard.

“The increase in the number of at-risk properties is directly related to climate change. Many of the maps FEMA currently uses to assess flood risk are five, 10 or 15 years old and no longer take into account the realities of our changing climate,” said Nick VinZant, senior research analyst and insurance expert at QuoteWizard.

Washington ranks third in the nation when looking at the total number of additional “at-risk” properties with over 240,000 since the last estimate. Analysts found that the number of flood-prone properties nationwide is actually 67 percent higher than previously estimated. That adds up to 5,866,497 additional properties that are at risk of flooding, according to their data.

The massive increase in the number of flood-prone properties is even more pronounced when looked at state by state. QuoteWizard analysts found 23 states with a 100 percent or more increase in the number of at-risk properties.

“It’s hard to overstate how big of a change this could be. We are talking about millions of more flood-prone properties and changes to flood insurance regulations that could lead to people paying several times more for flood insurance than they currently do now,” VinZant said.

Between 1996 and 2016, the National Flood Insurance Program paid out over $42 billion in claims. States like Washington recorded over $160 million in flood losses paid, while states like New York, Louisiana, Texas, New Jersey, Mississippi and Florida respectively recorded billions of dollars in losses each.

QuoteWizard said their data for the analysis was sourced exclusively through government agencies. The rate and loss data came from FEMA, and the demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Northwest

File Photo
High court ruling spurs effort to retool state’s drug laws

Meanwhile, the Blake decision has gotten people out jail, charges dismissed and possibly clemency for some.

Backed by her family, Kathleen Strickland addresses the protest in front of the Auburn Justice Center on Aug. 6, 2020, and on behalf of her late son, Enos Strickland Jr., pleads for change at the Auburn Police Department. (Sound Publishing file photo)
State Senate OKs restrictions on police tactics and gear

Staff reports The Washington State Senate has approved a measure restricting certain… Continue reading

The Monroe Correctional Complex on April 9, 2020. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Formerly incarcerated people regain right to vote in Washington

Rights restored immediately upon release.

This security footage at the Cenex gas station in Black Diamond shows Anthony Chilcott on his phone before entering, and driving off with, Carl Sanders’ Ford Raptor and Monkey, his poodle, in the front seat. Image courtesy Cenex gas station
King County Sheriff fires detective who fatally shot Black Diamond man in 2019

Sheriff found deputy’s actions “demonstrated a disregard for the public, (his) partner and (himself)”.

Help wanted sign in the window. File photo
State releases February unemployment data

February unemployment in King County sat at 5.3%, which marked a decrease… Continue reading

Spring Chinook Salmon. Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Salmon update: King County wants cleaner water, more habitat

Salmon and orcas are in the spotlight once again as King County… Continue reading

Guns seized during April 7 arrests (photo credit: Dept. of Justice)
More than 20 arrested across the Puget Sound in drug distribution conspiracy

DOJ says law enforcement agencies seized over 70 guns and hundreds of thousands in cash.

T
Sheriff’s office wants help identifying Green River killer victim

Staff reports In 2003, Gary Ridgway, Washington’s notorious Green River killer, pleaded… Continue reading

Michael O'Leary / Herald File 1987
A ladder truck shoots water over the south wall of the Everett Community College library complex on Feb. 16, 1987.  The arson destroyed the facility and killed Everett firefighter Gary Parks.
Solved: Arsonist behind 1987 firefighter’s death was only 12

For 34 years, a blaze at the old Everett Community College library was a mystery. Now Elmer Nash, 47, has pleaded guilty in the death of Gary Parks, then 48.

Most Read