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Flooding in New York

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Flooding in New York is a real threat. Coastal storms, overflowing rivers, and heavy rain can cause dangerous flooding, making it a nightmare for homeowners.

Don’t be caught off guard. In this guide, you’ll learn everything about flooding in New York, so you can prepare for the worst and protect your beloved home.

If you’ve recently experienced flooding and need restoration, contact All Dry USA immediately. We provide extensive services like water damage restoration, drying and dehumidification, mold remediation, and home restoration so that you can get your life back to normal.

New York Flood

Is Flooding Common in New York?

Flooding can occur in New York, particularly in coastal areas such as New York City. The city is vulnerable to coastal flooding due to its location on the Atlantic coast and the presence of low-lying areas. Climate change is also increasing the region’s severity and frequency of flooding.

New York City has had several major floods in the past century, including the flood caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which caused widespread damage and disruption in the city.

Other notable floods in New York City include those caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The local government has implemented measures such as building seawalls and elevating buildings to reduce the risk of flooding.

What Types of Flooding Affect New York?

The geographic landscape of New York, such as its colder climate, proximity to the Atlantic coast, and abundance of dams and reservoirs, makes its citizens susceptible to different types of flooding.

  • Flash Flooding Flash flooding is a rapid rise in water level along a low-lying urban area or stream. It usually occurs within six hours of intense storms that generate heavy rainfall in a short time.
  • River Flooding River flooding occurs when water overflows on the edges of a river’s main channel or its banks. Common symptoms include ice jams, rapid snowmelt, dam failures, or heavy rainfall.
  • Tropical Systems and Coastal Flooding Tropical storms are the primary cause of coastal flooding. Large waves and storm surges created by these tropical systems alter entire coastlines, causing inland flooding and destruction.
  • Ice/Debris Jams – Ice jams are common in New York along creeks, streams, and rivers. These ice jams may obstruct water flow, causing upstream flooding. When the jam breaks, flash flooding may occur downstream.
  • Snowmelt – Snow stores water until temperatures rise and the snow melts. Flooding may happen when there’s more water stored in snow than the soil can absorb.
  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure – A dam failure is when water releases uncontrollably from a reservoir. The causes of dam failure can occur from natural disasters like earthquakes, landslides, prolonged rainfall, or human error like negligent operation.

What Areas in New York Are Prone To Flooding?

As mentioned, New York City is vulnerable to coastal flooding because of its proximity to the Atlantic ocean. Many of these areas are also prone to experiencing sea level rise and storm surges, especially from hurricanes and other tropical storms.

The areas of the city that are most prone to flooding include:

  • Lower Manhattan
  • The Rockaways
  • Coney Island and Red Hook
  • Jamaica Bay
  • Staten Island
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens

What Are the Main Hazards Associated With Flooding?

Floods impact our health, disrupt our electrical systems, and damage our properties. Learning about flooding hazards is essential to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Polluted Floodwater

Polluted floodwater poses a significant ongoing threat, filled with sewage, debris, biotoxins, and waste. As a result, it can carry life-threatening infectious diseases or waterborne illnesses.

Health Hazards

Many health hazards, including fast-growing mold spores, can form in your home or property from flooding.

This poses serious health problems, especially for people with a weakened immune system, respiratory issues, or allergies. Symptoms of mold in your home may cause asthma attacks, lower respiratory tract infections, throat irritation, and more.

Disruption of Services

Flooding can majorly disrupt services within your own home and community. It may impair your electrical appliances, systems, and the grid – posing a significant fire hazard.

Unstable devices or appliances could lead to electrical shock. Furthermore, it’s common for flooding to cause extended power outages, leaving your home without electricity.

Flooding can quickly spoil your home’s water and plumbing systems, causing adverse health effects if polluted water enters them.

Property Damage

Floods can cause severe foundational and interior property damage, making your home susceptible to other problems.

Water Damage Clean Up Pump Out

How Do I Keep My Family Safe During a Flood in New York?

More deaths and property damage occur every year in New York because of severe flooding and hazards. Fortunately, you can take these steps to keep yourself and your family safe.

Before the Flood

  • Create an emergency plan: Have an evacuation plan, strong communication, and essential items.
  • Protect your home: Install flood protection measures, such as sandbags, sump pumps, and waterproofing.
  • Gather emergency supplies: Assemble an essentials kit with food, water, first-aid supplies, and important documents.
  • Secure your valuables: Move valuable items, such as furniture, electronics, and documents, to higher ground or store them in a waterproof location.
  • Research your flood risk: Research whether your area is prone to flooding. FEMA offers flood maps to show risk levels based on geographic regions.

During the Flood

  • Move to higher ground: If you are in a low-lying area, protect yourself and move to higher ground.
  • Listen to authorities: Follow instructions from local authorities, such as evacuation orders and warnings.
  • Stay safe: Do not attempt to drive or walk through floodwaters, as they may be deep, swift, and contaminated.
  • Evacuate if necessary: If advised to evacuate, do so immediately and follow recommended routes.
  • Stay away from electrical equipment: Avoid electrical equipment and appliances, and don’t touch them if wet or standing in water.

After the Flood

  • Document damage: Document all damage to your property for insurance purposes.
  • Contact your insurance company: Report damage to your insurance company and follow their instructions for making a claim.
  • Inspect your property: Carefully inspect your home or property for damage and safety hazards, such as gas leaks, electrical hazards, and structural damage.
  • Check utilities: Have a professional inspect your electrical, gas, and water systems before turning them back on.
  • Protect your home: Cover broken windows, torn roofs, and other openings to prevent additional damage.

Common Types of Property Damage Caused by Floods in New York

Floods in New York can significantly damage your home, leaving you needing expensive repairs. Let’s discuss how it can affect your property.

Interior Water Damage

Floods that enter your home weaken building materials, creating long-lasting effects on your home’s health. Rising floodwater and overflowing gutters may damage your walls, ceilings, floors, and other surfaces.


Cracks in your home’s foundation, siding, and walls allow water to leak into the crawlspace or basement.

High winds, storm surges, and floods may cause falling tree limbs to enter your home through the windows, doors, or roofs, leaving you vulnerable to leaks.

Sewage Backup

A sewer backup is one of many nightmares for a homeowner. When excess water pushes into sewer pipes, it causes the sewage to overflow into your home. Not fun!

Typically, flooding overwhelms the sewage system, which causes it to back up into vulnerable homes through the toilets and drains. Additionally, flying debris from floods, such as dirt and leaves, may clog pipes or damage septic tanks, causing a sewage backup.


The unique combination of moisture and warm temperatures promotes mold growth. Mold may grow on building materials, such as drywall, flooring, and insulation, causing structural damage over time.

Additionally, it discolors and deteriorates building materials, affecting a home’s appearance and interior. And importantly, mold produces musty odors and health susceptibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions about flooding in New York.

Is New York in Danger of Flooding?

Yes. Much of this urban city is covered by impermeable surfaces such as asphalt. Floods are then channeled into sewers and streets instead of being absorbed by the ground. Large flooding can easily overwhelm the century-old stations and subway systems.

How Does New York Prevent Flooding?

New York can prevent flooding by implementing a few measures. This includes building seawalls to protect against storm surges and using green infrastructure that can absorb water, like permeable pavements. Storm water pumping stations redirect excess water into the Hudson River to prevent sewage and streets from overflooding.

Suffering From Flooding Damage in New York? ADU Can Help

Floods in New York are no joke. One moment you have a cozy home; the next, you’re dealing with a natural disaster that can significantly damage and disrupt your daily life.

From costly home repairs and ruined personal belongings to mold growth, the impact of flooding shouldn’t be underestimated.

That’s why it’s imperative to be prepared with a flood plan, ensure adequate insurance coverage, and take steps to minimize internal damage.

If a flood has recently hit your home or property, don’t way to act. Water damage and moisture in your home can cause safety hazards such as mold growth and electrocution. Contact All Dry USA for immediate 24/7 emergency services. Our team of highly skilled flood repair specialists have years of experience and use cutting-edge technology to remove water and restore your home to its pre-flood condition.


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The State Of New York

NYS Mold Contractor: 00818
Nassau County: H0456860000
Suffolk County: HI-62343
NYC: 2086851-DCA
Westchester County: WC-32288-H19
Putnam County: PC7740

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