Floods

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.

Know the Difference

Flood/Flash Flood Watch - Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.

Flood/Flash Flood Warning - Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.

If you live in a high risk flooding are, consider the following before a flood occurs:

  • Elevating appliances such as furnaces, hot water heaters, and electric panel in your home
  • Installing "check valves" to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home
  • Constructing barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building
  • Sealing basement walls with waterproofing compounds
  • Purchasing flood insurance

Driving Safety

  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV's) and pickups
  • If you are not able to see the depth of the flood waters, turn around. More than half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water.
  • Do not drive around road barricades as the road could be washed out

What to do in a Flash Flood

  • Be prepared to evacuate to higher ground
  • Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream on foot. Six inches of fast moving water can knock you off your feet.
  • If the vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle  and its occupants.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.