Flash flooding kills more people per year than any other weather hazard. Flooding is the cause of an average of 94 fatalities per year.
Alabama and southern Tennessee are susceptible to flooding year-round due to their proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and the nearly unlimited supply of moisture it provides.
Flooding occurs when the water level of a river, stream, or lake increases. Water overflows the river banks into low lying areas and can last for several days or weeks.
A Flash Flood is not something that takes days to happen, like a regular flood. Instead, it’s a situation that can develop quickly. In some cases, it may not even be raining where you live. However, if the rain has fallen upstream, that means it will be heading to your area soon. Flash floods often occur within minutes or hours of heavy rainfall or a dam failure. The rapidly rising water can destroy structures and bridges, down trees, create new waterways and trigger catastrophic mudslides. Areas most prone to flash floods are urban areas, small streams and rivers, culverts, and storm drains. Urbanization increases water runoff two to six times over what would occur in natural terrain. This causes streets and parking lots to become swift moving rivers, and basements and building ground floors to quickly fill with water.
A Flash Flood Watch means that flash flooding is possible in or near the watch area.
A Flash Flood Warning means that flooding is occurring in the area or will be very soon.
If you live in a low-lying area or near a river, stream, or dam then you need to be prepared to evacuate quickly. If not, the rapidly rising flood waters could leave you trapped. The last place you want to be is on your roof, waiting for a boat or helicopter to take you to safety.
More than half of all people killed in floods are those in vehicles. Remember, it only takes 18 inches
of water to lift your car or SUV. Once your vehicle becomes buoyant; the water will easily push it sideways. Most vehicles will then tend to roll over, trapping those inside and washing them downstream. If you are driving and the road has water over it, you need to remember this simple saying: “Turn Around – Don’t Drown”. Never drive on a road with water covering it and never drive
around barriers blocking a flooded road or it just may cost you your life.
WAFF 48 Storm Team
We Track Storms