Severe Weather Preparedness Week: Flooding

On average, more people are killed by flooding than any other single weather hazard, including hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning and blizzards.  Most deaths from flooding occur at night, when it is difficult to recognize high water levels.

What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?

  • Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.  Flash Flood Warnings are often in effect for several hours.
  • Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.  Flood Warnings are often in effect for a day or longer.
  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared: A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
  • Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

SAFETY TIPS:

  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Do not drive over bridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.
  • Do not try to play, walk, or swim in flood water. You may not be able to determine if there are holes or submerged debris, or how quickly the water is flowing, and you may be swept away. There is also a danger of hazardous materials polluting the water.  Also remember that water is an electrical
    conductor, if there are power lines down, there is a possibility of electrocution.

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