Tornadoes are impressive, but flash flooding takes more lives each year than any other severe weather-related hazard. Only six" of fast moving water holds enough force to knock over an adult, and only two feet of water will carry away most vehicles…even pickups and SUVs. Whenever you encounter high water, and especially during flash flood warnings, turn around don’t drown. Never underestimate the power of water.
Source: Mark Fox, NWS Fort Worth
Flash Flood Versus Normal Flood
What’s the difference between a flash flood and a normal flood? Flash flooding occurs during heavy rain events and happens very quickly. It ends quickly as well. Regular flooding occurs as the result of a more prolonged rain event, lake overflow, or dam failure. It’s more gradual, more predictable, and lasts longer.
Know the Terms
- Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, WBAP-820 a.m. or television for emergency information.
- Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, WBAP-820 a.m. or television for emergency information.
Flash Flood Safety Tips
- Get out of areas subject to flooding, like dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc.
- Avoid already flooded and high-velocity flow areas-don’t attempt to cross a flowing stream.
- Never drive through flooded roadways in case the roadbed is no longer intact.
- If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
- Be cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers.
- Don’t camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.