The Midwest is certainly seeing its share of flooding. But as stated on the government website, flooding is possible anywhere it rains.

Floods are caused by spring thaws, heavy rains, and damage to the landscape due to construction and wildfires. Also weakened levees can result in catastrophic floods.

A few terms to keep in mind:

  • Flood Watch—Flooding is possible.
  • Flood Warning—Flooding is occurring or will soon. Evacuation may be necessary.
  • Flash Flood—A flash flood is rapid flooding of low areas caused by intense rainfall.
  • Flash Flood Watch—Flash flooding is possible.
  • Flash Flood Warning—A flash flood is occurring.

Flash Floods are the #1 weather-related cause of death in the U.S. The water can move faster than it appears. As little as six inches can knock you off of your feet, pull you under, and result in drowning.

Recommendations during flooding include:

  • Do not drive through flooded streets.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Electrical current travels though water.
  • Turn off the electricity. Even unplugged appliances such as televisions, can cause shock.
  • Watch for small animals that may have found shelter in your home during evacuation.
  • Step carefully across floors covered with debris. There may be broken glass or other harmful items underfoot.
  • Don’t smoke or use candles until you are certain the gas has been turned off and the area aired out.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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