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Severe Weather Myth: Flash flooding only occurs near rivers & creeks

Posted at 9:45 AM, Mar 19, 2019

March 17-23 is Severe Weather Preparedness Week and RTV6 is Working For You to make sure you and your families are prepared when there’s severe weather. Each day this week, RTV6 will be debunking weather myths and offering tips to keep you safe.

Flooding is near the top of the list each year for thunderstorm related fatalities. Obviously, lightning and tornadoes are in the mix as well.

MYTH: Flash flooding only occurs near rivers and creeks.

Heavy rainfall in a short period of time can cause flash flooding nearly anywhere. Quickly rising creeks or rivers aren’t the only threats during a heavy rain event. Urban flooding is becoming more of a problem. Think about how your drive to work is impacted by intersections prone to flooding. Streets, parking lots and sidewalks all contribute to the threat. Rain is not able to be absorbed into the ground creating runoff that can quickly flood intersections and storm drains. Shrinking areas of green space in metropolitan areas increase the flood potential.

I’m sure you’ve heard the National Weather Service saying, “Turn around don’t drown.” Most flooding fatalities occur as a result of vehicles being caught in flood waters. There seems to be a magnetic pull for people to try to drive across a flooded roadway. It happens way too often. As this graphic shows, there are many reasons to turn around when you encounter a flooded roadway.

The power of water is often underestimated. One foot of water is enough to float your car. Two feet of rushing water can carry most vehicles downstream.


You can learn more about Severe Weather Preparedness week here.

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