An Essay on Heavy Rain : It rained non-stop for four days. The ram was not very heavy but it kept coming without stopping. Our neighbors and we were all worried about the possibility of flooding – the water level in the nearby river was rising steadily.
The next day the river came to a boil on its banks and the water spread throughout the area cm, which stood in houses. To make the situation worse, debris was trapped on the bridge, disrupting the flow of the river. This had the effect of increasing the flood waters even more rapidly. The crowd came and blew a gap on the bridge to clear the blockage and that gave us some relief.
Despite this the rain continued. Everywhere was wet—the ground, our chairs, the beds; Wet. We could not cook any food and had to resort to canned food. By about four o’clock in the afternoon it became clear that we had to go to the higher plains. If we delay any longer, we can get caught in the rising waters and then we will be in really trouble. So with some luggage we headed through knee-deep water to a school located on a hill nearby.
The school was being temporarily used as a flood relief centre. When we reached the school we met many of our neighbors who had already gone there. We were provided with food and a place to sleep. All we could do was wait for the flood to end
Heavy rain, water damage and your property
These are terrifying words in the homeowner’s circle, much destruction from an irreversible element. Unless humans succeed in controlling the weather, the problem of water damage to property, largely caused by heavy rainfall, persists here. Heavy rainfall is common in the coastal region and in the spring. While this is not often the case in every part of the world, it is always the case that at a time, outdoors and since the weather is equally unpredictable, it is best to anticipate such a possibility and proceed with a line of action. .
The problem is not that there is heavy rainfall, it is the frequent and frequent heavy rains that can lead to floods, causing damage to property, livestock and crops; threat to human life. Damage can be done in many ways,
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- Foundation damage- When soil gets wet it expands, pushing against your foundation. The constant moisture of the soil causes it to expand progressively and when the pressure gets too high, you will start to see cracks and leaks on the walls and foundation.
- Gutter overflow- this can clog the gutter with debris that gets washed away with heavy rain
- Water seeping through cracks on the walls can also damage the foundation and cause water damage in the home.
- Mold Growth: Moisture and humidity inside the home aid in the growth of mold which can reduce the aesthetic value of the home and damage furniture, carpets, mattresses.
These can eventually lead to indoor exposure, soon followed by the development of mold and a number of structurally damaging processes. Mold can cause destruction of structures and has a health complication as well. Externally, foundations are under severe attack, cracks and moisture also helps mold growth and termite colonization which further breaks down the house.
In order to control the extent of your loss, you are advised to ensure the following steps to guarantee the safety of you, your family and your assets.
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Before the storm
The roof is one of your first lines of defense against the elements, so if compromised, you leave your home open to attack. Check if your roof is missing cracks, loose shingles, soft axles and surface splits. Upon detection, immediately check to see if they are healed.
Gutters and other drainage systems
To avoid the headache of dealing with water damaged to a home, it is important to have a well-functioning gutter to channel the overflow of water and guide it to garden, vegetation or irrigation purposes. Cleaning of clogged gutters, downspouts from home foundation should also be done. Installing one if you don’t have one will go a long way in keeping your home safe from water damage.
Ensuring a solid foundation
When rainwater collects in the soil around your home, water can seep into the ground and its continued accumulation can lead to cracks in the foundation. Once broken, the defense is gone and water leaks out with a gradually increasing amount of damage each time rain falls and the amount of damage with water entering through the foundation.
This can lead to dampness of your basement, attracting mold and bugs which can then cause more structural damage. The key is to make sure you run rainwater directly from your foundation. The land around your property should be at least six inches sloping so that the water is off your property.
Use of sandbags
They are just burlap sacks filled with sand. They help divert water flow away from buildings. They are not used as a barricade, but they should be arranged in such a way that it can serve its intended purpose.
Maybe a bit expensive but provides investment and security in it. It helps to drain water from inside a structure to the outside through a small pipe. It is also good to have a battery backup as there are frequent power outages with heavy rains.
Buy Flood Insurance
In addition to basic homeowners insurance, if you are in a flood prone area, getting this insurance will be very useful and save you a lot of stress in the long run.
During the Storm
Security is not just a watchdog, it must be assimilated to the elements and anything that shows signs of domestic damage. Before heavy rain, it is important to inspect the house, but during rain, do not leave the house to inspect the roof etc. or you may put your life at risk. If electrical wiring is compromised, turn off mains etc. Instead, if the rain turns dangerous, keeping you and your family safe should be your first priority. after a cyclone
Tread carefully when inspecting your property. Avoid broken glass and nails. Wear protective clothing such as rubber gloves, even a face mask.
Inspect your property
After a heavy rain, your first instinct is to check whether your property is in one piece. Go for it, but be safe while doing so too. Any roof damage, roof leak should be repaired immediately and if you have insurance, report your claim immediately. Important aspects of the home should be checked as they are more vulnerable to undetected water damage
Basement or crawlspace – Prolonged heavy rain can be a nuisance and turn your home into a swamp. Typically, the basement is not inspected often until it begins to give off a moist, foul odor and can contain all kinds of harmful microorganisms. In this case, call a water quenching professional for immediate drainage and cleaning, as these organisms cause all kinds of health problems, from skin diseases to gastrointestinal problems.
- gutters and downspouts
- If the roofs are leaking
- Walls for any discoloration, peeling paint, peeling wallpaper.
- report your claim
In case of any damages, despite all your efforts, report your claims as soon as possible to rectify the problem. If you do not have insurance to protect against the problem, repairs should be done as soon as possible and insurance should be purchased to better prepare you for the coming storm or flood as these forces of nature are almost inevitable.
Extreme weather – heavy rain
Heavy rainfall is one of the widespread severe weather threats and most frequent to affect New Zealand. It is defined as more than 100 mm of rainfall in 24 hours.
In New Zealand, heavy rainfall is relatively common. Often, significant amounts of precipitation fall within a few hours, posing a risk of severe flooding and landslides.
Due to heavy rain
New Zealand receives heavy rainfall mainly due to the following general weather systems:
- Pre-tropical cyclone
- Lower part of the North Tasman Sea moving towards NZ region
- depressions/lows from the south
- Cold front.
The mountains of New Zealand modify and increase rainfall, and this often causes the heavy rainfall we experience. On the west coast of the South Island , Heavy rainfall is most common and also the central and upper North Island, and is lowest on the east side of the South Island (due to the prevailing westerly winds).
Potential consequences of heavy rainfall
Heavy rainfall can lead to several hazards, for example:
Floods, including damage to buildings , risks to human life and infrastructure, and loss of crops and livestock
Landslides, which can endanger human life, disrupt transportation and communications, and cause damage to buildings and infrastructure.
Where there is heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds, the risk to forestry crops is greater.
Heavy Rain Research at NIWA
NIWA scientists are currently working as part of a program to reduce the impact of weather-related hazards to reduce hazards such as heavy rainfall and increase society’s resilience to hazards.
To achieve this, we are developing and implementing improved weather forecasting models that are able to accurately predict severe events in New Zealand.
Current NIWA Research Projects
For particularly heavy rainfall, we are:
Developing very high resolution numerical weather forecasting (NWP) forecast models and examining the effects of model resolution on heavy rainfall simulations. The models are run on NIWA’s supercomputer with resolutions of 12 km and 1.5 km.
More about our supercomputing facility
- To improve model performance by incorporating all available meteorological observations to generate initial atmospheric conditions as accurately as possible.
- To improve the processes governing dynamic features and heavy rainfall prediction over the New Zealand region in the NWP model formulation, including essential land surface processes.
- Developing ensemble methods/forecasts by running the model multiple times with slightly different initial conditions to increase our confidence in forecasting heavy rainfall.
The results of this research are being incorporated into our environmental forecasting product, Ecoconnect.
Visit Ecoconnect website
Additionally, NIWA has analyzed measurements of extreme rainfall across New Zealand, and developed the free HIRDS software tool to provide the public with information on the risk of extreme rainfall. HIRDS is used regularly by engineers throughout New Zealand to assist in the design of bridges, culverts and waterways. HIRDS includes option to assess impact of climate change on extreme rainfall