FLASH FLOODING: Severe Weather Week

Flooding over Cumming Road in Van Meter by Grant Foster

Spring in Iowa can mean all kinds of weather events from snow, to thunderstorms, to flooding. The National Weather Service wants people to be prepared for just about anything that can come with spring, that’s why they have dedicated each day of the week to a different type of severe weather Iowans could experience.

Monday was all about flash flooding.  According to the NWS these types of floods develop quickly when an area has seen heavy rains. They are strong enough to tear out trees, destroy buildings and move vehicles

The NWS says each year flooding results in 140 deaths, and many of those occur in vehicles because people attempt to drive across flooded roads and there car is swept away. Experts warn that it only takes two feet of water on a road to float most cars.

If you find yourself in an area where flooding is occurring, get to higher ground, don’t drive or attempt to cross flowing water on foot.

The NWS will issue one of three types of alerts to residents when there is potential danger.

  • Flash Flood Watch: Current or developing hydrologic conditions are favorable for flash flooding in and close to the watch area. The occurrence of flooding is neither certain nor imminent. Those in the watch area should be alert for flooding.
  • Flash Flood Warning: Meteorologists have determined that flash flooding is occurring or imminent. Those in the warning area should take the necessary precautions at once.
  • Flash Flood Emergency: It is used to highlight a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage from a flash flood which is imminent or on going
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