Turn around, don't drown
Send a link to a friend
[JULY 14, 2004]
Each year, more deaths occur
due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard.
Why? The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of
water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept
downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many
people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road
Whether you are driving or walking, if
you come to a flooded road,
Don't Drown™. You will not know the depth of the water, nor will
you know the condition of the road under the water.
Follow these safety rules:
Except for heat-related fatalities,
more deaths occur from flooding than any other hazard. Why? Most
people fail to realize the power of water. For example, 6 inches of
fast-moving flood water can knock you off your feet.
[to top of second column in
While the number of fatalities can vary
dramatically with weather conditions from year to year, the national
30-year average for flood deaths is 127. That compares with a
30-year average of 73 deaths for lightning, 65 for tornadoes and 16
for hurricanes. National Weather Service data also shows:
Most flash floods are caused by
slow-moving thunderstorms, thunderstorms that move repeatedly over
the same area, or heavy rains from tropical storms and hurricanes.
These floods can develop within minutes or hours depending on the
intensity and duration of the rain, the topography, soil conditions
and ground cover.
Flash floods can roll boulders, tear
out trees, destroy buildings and bridges, and scour out new
channels. Rapidly rising water can reach heights of 30 feet or more.
Furthermore, flash flood-producing rains can also trigger
Occasionally, floating debris or ice
can accumulate at a natural or man-made obstruction and restrict the
flow of water. Water held back by the ice jam or debris dam can
cause flooding upstream. Subsequent flash flooding can occur
downstream if the obstruction should suddenly release.
information can be obtained at the
Southern Region flood