Maybe it's our history of revolutions... Six different flags and all that. Who knows?
Also in NB we get a so-called "500 year flood" every 8-10 years. We go from drought to hard rain pretty rapidly and the hard ground can't soak it all up. I'm pretty sure you can look up the flood of '98 on YouTube. 2004 was a pretty bad one too, over the 4th of July holiday no less. For me and my wife, these were pretty formative events as far as our prepper mentality goes.