We kick off Arkansas Severe Weather Awareness Week with flooding. Flash flooding is the number one killer of all thunderstorm-related severe weather due to people underestimating the power of rushing water!
It only takes 6 inches of fast moving water to sweep you off your feet and only 1-2 feet of moving water to sweep your vehicle off the road and downstream!
Things to Remember While Driving in a Vehicle
TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN!!! Your life is NOT worth the risk of saving a couple extra minutes in drive time. Find another way around, and if that does not exist then wait for the water to subside before crossing.
Don’t assume that you know how deep the water is! In many cases, flash floods can quickly erode the surface of the road away leaving a torrent of rushing water where the road once stood. Driving into this is DANGEROUS and can be DEADLY!
Thing to Remember While on Foot
Know what areas around you are prone to flooding, and avoid them when flooding becomes a possibility! Knowing where you live within your local floodplain can be a major help in planning on which locations to avoid during instances of flooding. Here is link to resources that can help you find that information.
If you like spending your time outdoors, either hiking or camping, here are some things to keep in mind. Try not to spend the night camped out near streams, especially if thunderstorms or heavy rain is in the forecast. Storms occurring miles upstream from your campsite, could quickly turn a peaceful stream into a dangerous and deadly raging torrent!
NEVER allow kiddos to play around high water, storm drains, or culverts!
You Never Know What is in the Floodwaters!
Floodwaters could contain all sorts of harmful things that you don’t want children or anyone to be in. They may start out as just rushing stream of water, but can become a quick moving onslaught of sticks, branches, boulders, mud, chemicals, sewage, and other unhealthy toxins! This is especially true when flooding occurs in or near population centers.
Most of the time you cannot see what debris the floodwaters contain. This unseen debris can sharp and cause serious injury or death!
The depth of floodwaters can change VERY quickly and without warning! A low water crossing can suddenly become inundated with feet of fast moving water. Always be aware of your surroundings, and have a plan to move to higher ground should flooding become an issue.
Staying Safe This Severe Weather Season!
Above all, your Weather Authority Team wants to keep you and your family safe and informed! Taking the time to create a flood safety plan now, could save you or your families life during emergency situations!
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