Flash Floods

Picture Courtesy of FEMA. Photographer David Valdez

Flash Floods
Flash floods are the #1 weather-related killer in the U.S. A flash flood is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas in less than six hours, which is caused by intense rainfall from a thunderstorm or several thunderstorms. They can also occur from the collapse of a man-made structure or ice dam.

Heavy Rains
Flooding due to heavy rains can cause Cresting rivers, backed-up storm drains or saturated ground leading to significant floods across the region during this time.

Ice Jams
Long cold spells can cause the surface of rivers to freeze, leading to ice jams. When a rise in the water level or a thaw breaks the ice into large chunks, these chunks can become jammed at man-made and natural obstructions, resulting in severe flooding.

A midwinter or early spring thaw can produce large amounts of runoff in a short period of time. Because the ground is hard and frozen, water cannot penetrate and be reabsorbed. The water then runs off the surface and flows into lakes, streams and rivers, causing excess water to spill over their banks.

Hurricanes and tropical storms can pack a powerful punch, with soaking rain, flying debris, high winds and tidal surge.

In addition to causing extensive damage in coastal areas, they often bring flooding hundreds of miles inland with torrential rains and high winds, posing a threat to millions of people who don't even live on a shoreline.

Picture Courtesy of FEMA. Photographer David Valdez

Turn Around Don't Drown is a NOAA National Weather Service campaign to warn people of the hazards of walking or driving a vehicle through flood waters.

This is a great safety program to bring awareness to both children and adults of the dangers behind walking or playing near flooded roads and streams.

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water.

The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters.Why? The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded.

Please visit these links for more information on flood safety.
NOAA Floods
NOAA Flood Sefety

Information contributed from FEMA and NOAA.

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