MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Severe storms can sometimes drop lots of rain in a short amount of time. This can result in flooding not only along lakes and rivers but in city streets. One may wonder, why is flooding so deadly, what causes that to happen?
In this episode of the breakdown, we will explain why flooding is one of the most deadly natural disasters in the United States.
When looking at the top weather fatalities in the United States. In the past 10 years there have been nearly 100 flooding deaths, over a span of 30 years that number is around 87 deaths. That makes flooding the second deadliest natural disaster on average right behind the heat.
Heavy rain can lead to rapid water rises, especially in low-lying areas and along rivers and lakes.
Just 6 inches of water, that is all it takes for a person to be swept away. 12 inches of water, that is all that is required to sweep a car or suv off the road. With 18 inches of water needed to sweep a large vehicle off the roadways.
As water rises in flooding situations, that can catch drivers and pedestrians off guard. That is why we use the saying, “turn around, don’t drown” when approaching flooded roadways.
Often times people underestimate the power of swift moving and rising water, leading to people driving through flood zones and getting stuck requiring rescuing.
Understanding the difference between a Flash Flood Watch and Warning can be key in saving a life. A flash flood watch, is when conditions are favorable for flooding, you need to be prepared. While a Flash Flood Warning means flooding is imminent or currently occurring, action needs to be taken immediately.
If forecasters are concerned about the potential for flooding, there are some tips you can keep in mind to keep you and your family safe.
First, know if you are at risk, is your home in a floodplain? Secondly, keep check on your insurance and know if flooding is covered. Next, remember to keep your storm drains clear of any loose debris. Make sure you keep your electronic devices charged and ready to go in an emergency.
Knowing the power of water in a flooding situation can be the difference between life and death. The more you know about flooding disasters potentially help lower the numbers of deaths across the United States.