What is a 100-year flood?

The term "100-year flood" is very misleading. People tend to believe that it happens only once every 100 years. The truth is that an uncommonly big flood can happen any year, even multiple times in a single year. The term "100-year flood" is really a statistical designation saying there is a 1-in-100 chance that a large damaging flood will happen during any year. A better term would be the "1-in-100 chance flood” or one percent chance of flooding annually.

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1. What is a 100-year flood?
2. I don’t live near the river. Am I really at risk for flooding?
3. How do I know if my property is in a floodplain?
4. Does my home owner’s or commercial structure insurance policy cover damage caused by flooding?
5. Why are there floodplains and what’s the benefit for having them?
6. Can I build in the floodplain?