INDIANA — Flood water may not always appear dangerous, but it can be a serious threat.
According to the National Weather Service, more people die each year from flood-related incidents than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard.
That's why you often hear the WRTV Storm Team say, if you come across a flooded road, turn around, don't drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock a person off their feet. Most cars can be carried away in just a foot of rushing water.
The spring flooding outlook from the National Weather Service shows our chances of having to deal with minor to moderate flooding across many waterways is above average and greater than it was last year.
There are several types of flooding to be aware of:
River flooding is fairly common across Central Indiana during the spring and summer. Most of the time the flooding is minor, only impacting low-lying areas near the river itself. Major river flooding can occur though, sometimes resulting in the evacuation of people from their homes.
Flash flooding can be one of the most serious water threats, as it signals a rapid rise of water. Flash flooding can happen when lots of rain falls over the same area. It can also be the result of a failed levee or dam.
One other flooding term you may see or hear is areal flooding. The word areal refers to a large area covered by water. This type of flooding develops gradually from prolonged and persistent rainfall and often represents when there's water standing on roads or in fields.
Even when floodwaters may not seem dangerous, it's important to avoid them. You never know what chemicals or physical objects could be lurking below the surface.