... Continuing fall severe weather awareness week for the arklatex...
Today's topic is flash flood safety...
As part of severe weather awareness week... the National Weather
Service wants you to be aware of the dangers of the number one storm
killer... flash flooding.
A flash flood is a rapid rise of water along a stream... or in a low
lying urban area. Flash flooding can result from slow moving
thunderstorms... from numerous thunderstorms which develop repeatedly
over the same area... and from heavy rains associated with tropical
cyclones. These floods may develop within minutes... depending on the
intensity of rainfall... the topography... soil conditions... and
Few people realize the true power of water. Rapidly moving flood
waters only six inches deep can knock an adult off their feet. Two
feet of water can lift approximately 3000 pounds... which is the
weight of an average sized vehicle. Vehicles crossing a flooded
roadway can lose traction with the Road... actually floating in some
cases. In addition... water can erode the Earth underneath a
Road... causing it to wash out. If a vehicle becomes overturned... it
can fill with water... endangering the lives of its occupants.
Flash flood statistics indicate that half of the annual flood
fatalities are vehicle related.
When flash floods occur in rural areas... people who enjoy hunting...
camping and fishing need to stay away from streams if strong
thunderstorms have occurred. Water in streams can rise over ten feet
in less than an hour with the heavy rainfall.
So how can we stay safe from the dangers associated with flash
Monitor weather radio and pay close attention to flash flood
warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
Be especially cautious at night when it is more difficult to
recognize the dangers of flash flooding.
Avoid low lying areas that are prone to flooding. Dont Camp or park
your vehicle along streams and washes. If your vehicle is suddenly
caught in rising water... leave it immediately and move to higher
Lastly... never attempt to cross areas where water covers the Road.
Remember the first safety rule of flash flooding... turn
around... don't drown.
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