Winter weather worries include more than snow and freezing temperatures; winter is also one of the busiest flood seasons. Past floods have served as benchmarks and learning opportunities for communities that want to make sure their residents are ready for unexpected events, such as flash floods.
When determining if there is cause to issue a flash flood warning, the National Weather Service considers radar data, IFLOWS and automated rain gauges, soil conditions and the amount of rain that has already fallen in a particular area. When the waters rise, it merely takes a couple of feet of water to move car and other heavy objects. If there is a flash flood warning or heavy rains in your area, avoid driving through puddle of water or moving water because a flash flood can easily carry your vehicle away from the road and into a river, where most flash flood-related deaths occur in vehicles. Every year, more people die from rainwater than they do lightning, hurricanes and tornadoes.
If a flash flood warning is issued, residents in a low-lying area or near a stream, dam or river should be prepared to evacuate quickly as the fast-rising waters can trap them on a roof or worse.
[photo: Adam Peiniazek]