Federal disaster officials are urging property owners in states hard-hit by recent floods to buy flood insurance to protect themselves against more flooding.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued the call Tuesday, three days after flood waters from the Delaware River damaged several New Jersey communities. The state is seeking federal disaster aid.FEMA Director James Lee Witt said floods can strike anywhere - often in places they have never hit before - such as areas where developments have altered the watershed and the natural flow of water runoff.
"In January 1995, there were back-to-back flood disasters in California," Mr. Witt said in a prepared statement. "A lot of folks who thought they had dodged the bullet were sadly mistaken."
Mr. Witt said property owners can purchase flood insurance through the FEMA-administered National Flood Insurance Program. The average annual premium runs about $300, he said.
There about 3 million policies in force nationwide and about 147,000 policies in New Jersey, Mr. Witt said.