Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States, however not all floods are alike. Some floods develop slowly, while others such as flash floods, can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall.
In our area, flash flooding is the most likely flood hazard that one could come across. Nearly 50 percent of all flash flood fatalities nationwide involve vehicles. Saving your life can be as easy as turning your car around when you see water on the road. Never attempt to drive through flooded roadways. Even in relatively shallow water, tires can act as flotation devices, lifting up big vehicles and sending them downstream. It takes only two feet of water to float a 3,000-pound car.
While cars are extremely dangers during flash flooding, you can also be injured or killed on foot. Do not attempt to cross flooded roads or streams on foot. It can take as little as six inches of water to knock an adult off his or her feet. The water may also be flowing more rapidly than it appears. Never allow children to play near ditches or storm drains.
In rainy weather, be alert and stay tuned to information from local media and emergency management officials. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see flood dangers.
For more information about flood safety, please visit Ready.gov’s Flood Preparedness page.