The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is one of the snowiest regions in the U.S., with snow typically falling from October until May. Situated in the upper Midwest and surrounded by 3 of the 5 Great Lakes, the U.P. experiences a large amount of lake-effect snow. Primarily bound by the largest and coldest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior, areas directly south of the enormous freshwater lake, including Marquette, are highly likely to experience large amounts of lake effect snow.
As cold air passes over the unfrozen and comparatively warm waters of the Great Lakes, warmer moisture combines with colder air, creating large snow squalls that are blown across the lake and onto downwind areas. The phenomenon is so extraordinary that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-16 satellite has captured images of snow plumes blowing across Lake Superior from 23,000 miles in space.
The Great Lakes are so vast that it’s extremely rare for them to freeze over completely. The last time Lake Superior reached 100 percent ice coverage was in 1996. When the temperature is cold enough for this massive body of water to completely freeze over, you may anticipate more snow, but there actually tends to be a reprieve in precipitation. Without the warmer water to mix with the arctic air, lake-effect snow isn’t created.
The Upper Peninsula is no stranger to high snowfall totals. The highest snowfall ever recorded in the U.P. was 390.4 inches, recorded at the Keweenaw County snow station in the winter of 1978-79. The National Weather Service in Marquette recorded 2 new snowfall records in February 2022, with 9.7 inches on Feb. 21 and 21.6 inches on Feb. 22. The snowfall recorded on Feb. 22 was a new record daily snowfall for any February day.
With record amounts of snow blanketing the ground, the potential for flooding is increased in the spring thaw. Snow that accumulates on your property could lead to a watery mess as it melts, potentially resulting in water damage. To keep melting snow from leaking through basement walls, shovel as much snow as you can away from the foundation. Water damage should be addressed as soon as possible, because mold growth can occur quickly. If you need to file a mold damage insurance claim in Michigan, hiring a public adjuster to help you through the process could drastically increase your settlement amount.
Flood insurance is an optional coverage that is often excluded from a typical homeowner’s policy, so melting snow that floods your foundation and causes damage may not be covered under your policy. Flash floods can occur when spring rains fall on melting snow, often leading to the flooding of creeks, rivers and streams, causing the water levels to rise rapidly.
According to the Michigan Department of State Police’s 2019 Michigan Hazard Analysis, state flood disasters cause more than $100 million in property damage on average. The majority of flood damages aren’t covered under flood insurance policies but are paid by individuals out-of-pocket. According to the document, the U.P. often experiences an elevated risk of flash flooding from dam and levee failures. Ice jams are a cause of flooding in early spring, causing backed-up water in streams and rivers, overflowing the banks.
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If you’re looking for a Public Adjuster in Michigan, K-Factor Advocates has a skilled team of professionals that specialize in insurance claim negotiation, policy language and interpretation, and claims estimating. The K-Factor team has helped hundreds of clients navigate the challenges of the claims process, securing fair settlements in order to restore their damaged property.