The Dangers of Flash Flood
Flash flooding is not always on people’s radar as a dangerous weather event, as things like lightning strikes and high winds appear to be far more common. However, many people are surprised to learn that flooding is the second leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States.
Part of what makes flash floods in particular so dangerous is because of how quickly they can come about and how they can impact even small bodies of water. An overflowing storm drain or neighborhood creek can quickly cause a significant impact if it rains heavily enough, which is why it is important to be vigilant if they are a possibility.
What Is a Flash Flood?
A flash flood is defined as flooding that begins within six hours of heavy rainfall, which is why they are so common after storms and other severe weather. They can be highly unpredictable, but are especially common in urban areas due to overflowing storm drains and other drainage issues that might arise during a storm.
How Will I Know if I Am at Risk for Flash Flooding?
One of the most important things to remember in regards to flash floods is to carefully heed all warnings put out by your local weather officials. A flash flood watch means that flooding is possible, so it is wise to think of your action plan. If a warning is issued, that means flash flooding is likely to begin soon and you should execute your safety plan. If there is a flash flood emergency, that means there are life-threatening levels of water in the area and you should immediately take action.
What Are the Rules of Flash Flood Safety?
Knowing the rules in regards to flash flood safety is so important for ensuring you and your family can be protected from these traumatic events. Here are the important things to remember:
- Stay away from low-lying areas during periods of heavy rainfall.
- Have a safety and evacuation plan in place in case flooding becomes imminent.
- Never attempt to walk or drive your car through floodwater.
- Do not let children play near floodwater, as it can contain harmful substances.
- If floodwaters block your route, find a different way to go.