Flooding

Floods kill more people in the United States than any other type of severe weather. Floods can roll boulders the size of cars, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges, and pose a significant threat to human life.

Flash Floods


A flash flood is a rapid rise of water along a stream or low-lying urban area. Flash flood damage and most fatalities tend to occur in areas immediately adjacent to streams or creeks, due to heavy rain. Flash floods can be produced when slow moving or multiple thunderstorms occur over the same area. Flash floods can take only a few minutes to a few hours to develop. Persons who live near streams or creeks prone to flooding should be alert during heavy thunderstorms to evacuate if necessary.

When a Flash Flood Watch is Issued


  • Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate in a moment's notice.

When a Flash Flood Warning is Issued


  • Or if you think it has already started, evacuate immediately. You may have only seconds to escape. Act quickly!
  • Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades... They are there for your safety.
  • If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
Almost half of all flash flood fatalities occur in vehicles. Contrary to popular belief, many people don't realize 2 feet of water on a bridge or roadway can float most vehicles. If the water is moving rapidly, the car, truck, or SUV can be swept off the bridge or road into the creek or ditch. Water can erode the road bed, creating unsafe driving conditions. Underpasses can fill rapidly with water, while the adjacent roadway remains clear. Driving into a flooded underpass can quickly put you in 5 - 6 feet of water.

When you approach a flooded road, Turn Around, Don't Drown!
Turn Around Don't Drown Sign

River Floods


A flood in the inundation of a normally dry area caused by an increased water level in an established watercourse. River floods can take several hours to days to develop.

When a Flood Watch is Issued


  • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
  • Fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.

When a Flood Warning is Issued


  • Listen to local radio and TV stations for information and advice. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.