Flooding & Flash Flooding


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About Flooding & Flash Flooding

Flooding and flash flooding is one of the least visually impressive weather hazards present within our region.  Thunderstorms produce brilliant light shows and the sheer destructive forces of tornadoes devastate entire communities.  However, more lives are lost each year due to flooding than any other weather-related hazard.  It only takes six (6) inches of fast-moving water to sweep away an adult.  Two feet of water will carry away most vehicles – including SUVs and trucks.  Whenever you encounter high water, and especially during Flash Flood warnings, Turn Around Don’t Drown.  Never underestimate the power of water!

–Source: National Weather Service

 Flooding & Flash Flooding Facts

  • 66% of flood-related deaths occur in vehicles.  These deaths, and many more injuries, occur as drivers attempt to navigate flooded roadways.
  • Just 6 inches of rapidly moving water can knock an adult off of their feet.  Two feet of moving water can effectively move a bus!
  • One-third, or 33%, of flooded roads and bridges are so damaged by the force of water that any vehicle only stands a 50% chance of actually making it across the flooded area without incident.
  • Never enter a flooded area with or without a vehicle.  The sheer force of moving water is astounding, and even more hazards can lie below.  If you or someone else is in danger due to flooding, call 911 immediately.

–Source: The Weather Channel

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Flooding vs Flash Flooding: What’s the Difference?

Flooding occurs as the result of a rain event that lasts for a long period of time, often multiple hours or days.  Standard flooding events may also occur due to dam failures and lake or river overflow.  Flash flooding occurs during heavy rain instances and results in the rapid flooding of areas.  The key difference is that standard flooding events are more gradual and more predictable.  When you see that a Flash Flood warning has been issued, take heed!  Flash flooding is the deadliest of weather-related hazards because the force of water is often underestimated.

Turn Around, Don’t Drown

When you encounter a flooded area, the general rule is Turn Around, Don’t Drown.  As a result of the sheer number of lives lost to flooding, the National Weather Service developed a nationwide campaign to improve driver education on the hazards of attempting to cross flooded roadways and bridges.  More information about the campaign can be found at http://tadd.weather.gov.