Our topic for day five of Severe Weather Awareness Week is flooding. Across Nebraska and Iowa, the types of flooding we commonly see are river flooding and flash flooding.
River flooding is usually forecast days in advance. It happens over many hours as the water in a river rises. Water levels can stay high for days. Flash flooding occurs quickly, sometimes in a matter of minutes, with little to no warning. With flash flooding, water levels are typically back down within a day.
Flooding is very dangerous. It is the number one weather-related killer, and most flooding deaths occur in flash flood situations. Over half of flash flooding deaths are automobile related. That is why it is so important to "Turn Around, Don't Drown."
In any kind of flooding event, you should first try to reach higher ground. It may be as simple as going to a higher level of your home, or you may need to evacuate if you are asked or told to do so. It's never a good idea to walk through or play in flood waters, because you don't know how deep it is or what is in the water.
Water itself is very powerful. It doesn't take much to sweep an adult away, only six inches of fast moving water. A small car can be swept away in a foot of water, and it takes just 18-24 inches of fast moving water to sweep away a large vehicle.
We have one more day of Severe Weather Awareness Week. Saturday's topic is how to report severe weather.