Weather Week: The Dangers of Flash Flooding


When you think about killer weather tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzards are likely the first that come to mind. But there’s something much more deadly.

“Flash flooding is one of the weather phenomena that kills the most number of people,” said Nicole McGovack, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Tulsa.

Heavy rain can cause a rapid rise in area creeks and rivers. Most flash flood deaths occur when people try and drive across a flooded roadway.

So why do we put ourselves in danger?

“The number one reason is still we are a mobile society, we are in a hurry and when we come across a flooded area we think we can get across it and we will drive out there in their vehicle and not understand the power of the water and get swept away,” said Steve Piltz, with the NWS.

It doesn’t take much rain sweep a car off the road.

“When we start to see flood water going above two feet an average vehicle will begin to try and float,” Piltz said.

To avoid being hurt or killed by a flash flood, simply stop. Officials say don’t cross flooded roads, especially when it’s dark. You cannot tell if the roadway is washed out or the depth of the water.



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