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Old 06-06-2020, 09:10 AM
1 posts, read 1,421 times
Reputation: 15


I have lived in Wisconsin my whole life and am planning to relocate to Wellington, FL for work. In my research I’m learning that I have a very naive understanding of what hurricanes and flooding in the Palm Beach area are really like and am hoping those of you that live/have lived there can help me better understand what these storms are like.

- How may hurricanes and tropical storms usually impact Palm Beach county each year?

- If you live inland, somewhere like Wellington, are there often mandatory evacuations during storms? If so, where do you go?

- What kind of damage to homes did larger storms (like Wilma) cause inland by Wellington?

- How often do hurricanes and tropical storms cause flooding? When there is flooding, do most homes actually have water enter and damage the first floor?

- How often do the storms cause exterior damage to homes? Are homeowners having to repair/replace portions of the roof, siding, or windows every year?

- About how much does annual homeowners insurance, including flood coverage, cost in Wellington for about a $450,000 home? Do you need flood coverage in Wellington?

Thank you!
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:06 AM
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Lived in Florida 44 years..........NEVER evacuated once.

Had some big storms hit (David, Andrew, Frances,Jean, Charlie,Irma)..........never had any damage to the house I lived in. I lost a couple of trees over the years. Zero flooding. Power outages for a week was about the longest. No phone/water/natural gas disruption.

Remember the news gravitates to the worst areas for the best footage.

Insurance for 450K on a concrete block house with shutters should run you about $3000 a year, flood should be less than $400 (as long as its not in a flood zone).

Remember this bad clip (reporter sitting in a canoe in ankle deep water):

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Old 06-06-2020, 04:41 PM
Location: South Florida
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Moved to South Florida from Wisconsin in ‘95.

I’ve never lived in an area that gets horrible flooding, but know people who have.
I know Boynton and areas of Delray can get bad. Look for flood maps online.

We lost a screened in patio during Wilma, as well as some fencing. Our neighbors were without power for about 2 weeks, but for unknown reasons, we were only out a few days.

Hurricanes spin off tornadoes and that usually happens more inland.

The problem with Hurricanes is that until the 11th hour, no one can know exactly where they’re going to make landfall. So as far as evacuating, you need to leave days ahead of time, when you still aren’t sure where it’ll make landfall. If you have a job, they want you to keep working until the last minute. At that point, the roads heading north are bumper to bumper, gas usually runs out, and for that reason, I’ve always stayed put.
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Old 06-08-2020, 08:14 AM
Location: Palm Beach County
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We moved from Milwaukee in 08 and live in the Wellington area now. Couldn't imagine ever going back...
We have a new construction home so our insurance is more towards the $1800 a year range.
We've been fortunate since we moved down and only had to "shutter up" twice. Now our home has impact glass windows.
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Old 07-22-2020, 04:05 PM
Location: Orange County, CA
335 posts, read 620,791 times
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TLL24, not sure if you have already moved there, but we used to live in Wellington. We actually still own our house in Equestrian Club and have annual renters there. Lived there from June 2005- January 2013. Wilma happened right after we moved, in October 2005. Here's my take on your questions:

1. The amount of storms vary every year. The year before we moved, Palm Beach County was hit by 4 storms right after each other. Some years are better than others. Definitely more tropical storms than hurricanes. This will become your go-to for storm information: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

2. Never evacuated. That's more for those who live east of 95.

3. Wilma: we had some torn screening from our pool enclosure, while those across the lake had theirs totally destroyed. The 2-story house next door shielded us from a lot of damage. We lost power for 10 days. That was the worst part, as back then the gas stations and many supermarkets were not required to have back up generators, and the lines waiting for gas (for cars and for filling portable generators) were insane. Otherwise, just a lot of downed tree branches and the hassle of putting up/taking down hurricane panels. The ones who were on the same electrical grid as the hospitals got their power back sooner.

Tropical Storm Fay ?2009: Don't ever think that TS's don't cause damage. Sometimes they're worse, since nobody puts their shutters up unless a hurricane watch is called. I pulled in all our patio furniture and anything I thought would blow away. Problem with tropical storms, more tornadoes. We had a freak one in the middle of the night, freight train sound and all. I forgot to take in the cover to our grill side burner; it got sucked up from the tornado through the screened patio, causing damage and a twisted cover. We had around 4 oak trees fall parallel to the house. A neighbor diagonally across from us had a window blown out.

4. We had some minor flooding during some storms, and some that were so bad that I had to take my husband's SUV out if I wanted to drive somewhere (my car was too low). Water did not enter the home, just up our driveway and patio. Hurricanes are either a rain event or a wind event, and this depends on what side of the storm you wind up on.

5. See above. Not every year. You can get more damage from a regular 2pm rainstorm, when the rain goes sideways and under your roof eaves.

6. You don't need flood coverage if you are not in a flood zone. Our house was in a corner that was not in a flood zone, but we got it anyway. Because any water damage from the ground is not covered under regular insurance, we spent the extra money. I can't speak to the costs, as we have to pay more for flood insurance now that it's not our primary home, and the insurance on our house now is excluding contents since it's being rented.

The worst thing about storms is the media hype. Ever since hurricane Andrew in 1992, it's been better to be safe than sorry. Better to have a few days of panic and have nothing happen, rather than be unprepared and be another Homestead, where everything was flattened. (That's Miami, much further south.) Just keep a pantry stocked with non-perishable food (if not used, you can donate later), bottled water, and make sure you have the tools to put up shutters (hoping your house has them). Bonus points if you have a generator. As the saying goes, your are really in trouble if Jim Cantore shows up in your neighborhood...

It's really a great place to live. Good luck and just be prepared and hopefully none will hit.
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:22 AM
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I am a WPB native and I've lived in West Palm Beach most of my life - close to Intracoastal and ocean. I've been through a number of hurricanes and prepared for and evacuated for others. We have evacuated a few times because of our proximity to the ocean. Often we wish we had just stayed because the hurricanes have not been as bad as anticipated. That said, we stayed during Wilma because the meteorologists' forecast was for her to be weaker than she ended up actually being when she arrived. Her second half (after the eye passed over us) ended up being at Cat 3. During Wilma, we had Miami- Dade-rated hurricane panels up (correctly installed) and Wilma peeled the panel over a garage window back like a sardine can. That was sobering to see afterwards.

My best advice:

1. If you can afford it, get hurricane impact windows and doors. Putting panels up is hard and time-consuming. They are also a fire hazard. And my favorite feature is that impact windows are much harder for a burglar to break into so your house is safer year-round. It took us years to replace our windows and doors with impact ones and we did it over 2 or 3 stages. So glad we did.
2. Keep your cars' gas tanks full when a hurricane is a possible threat to our area.
3. Keep bottled water, medicine (including for pets), can food etc.
4. Consider a home generator if you can afford one if you cannot be without electricity for days and maybe weeks. We were without power multiple times for lengths of 5 to 14 days before we finally got a generator that runs about half our house including one of our central air units. Some people tolerate not having electricity better than others.
5. Know your lot's elevation. If they are predicting an 8-foot storm surge or flooding in your area and your elevation is lower than that, you want to prepare accordingly.
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Old 08-30-2020, 06:49 PM
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To answer your questions, in order as listed:

1. As with an natural weather event, this varies year to year and there is no way to tell, some years there are zero hurricanes, and other years there are multiple named storms within the same year.

2. Wellington is an inland area and is hence NOT in an evacuation zone, no need to worry in this regard. The highest risk areas in terms of evacuation are typically coastal areas within immediate proximity of the ocean or low lying areas which Wellington is not.

3. Hurricane damage (if within the path of a storm) in Wellington is typically from high-speed winds and gusts. The level of damage is determined by the category of the storm, for example; a Category 1 hurricane typically will cause minimal to no damage to the average home built up to current building codes and with precautions in place such as shutters, etc. meanwhile a major storm such a Category 5 (worst possible case scenario but rare) could cause catastrophic damage to any building or home in the path of the storm.

4. Thankfully Wellington is not in a low lying area so widespread flooding is typically not a concern for this area, the only type of flooding seen in Wellington would be localized flooding in a neighborhood as a result of clogged storm drain or if you reside next to a body of water such a lake or river. Depending on your situation and location of your home, many homeowners will place sand bags around doorways prior to storms in the event that there is an unforeseen localized flood.

5. Typically this only occurs after major storms, as stated earlier, the higher category the storm the higher the likelihood of damage. Another factor is the age of the home, newer homes typically experience less damage while older homes that are already in a compromised state or in need of repair could see more damage.

6. I don't have an answer to this specific question but hopefully another poster here does.

Hope this helps!
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