StormReady: Flash Floods

Next to extreme heat, the most dangerous severe weather killer is flash flooding.  On average, nearly 130 people die each year as the result of flash flooding. This is nearly twice as many people who are killed by tornadoes.

Flash flooding is flooding that occurs over the course of minutes or hours. It can be caused by many different factors. The most common are heavy rainfall over a short period of time, the failure of a dam, or an ice jam during the winter. Smaller rivers, creeks and streams are more susceptible to flash flooding than large rivers like the Mississippi River.

Flash floods can sweep cars off the road, push houses off of their foundations, and destroy roads and bridges.

Do not walk through flooded areas, especially if there is a strong current. It can take as little as six inches of rapidly flowing water to sweep a human off their feet. In addition, there could be downed power lines or other hazards hiding underneath the water.

Most flooding deaths occur when people try to drive across a flooded roadway. Never drive through a flooded road. All it takes is two feet of flowing water to carry most cars and pickups away. In addition, the road underneath may have collapsed or been damaged. Turn around, don’t drown!

Click the links for more flood safety and preparedness tips.