What are flash flooding conditions and how can you stay safe

Weather

Flooding on 20th and Bainbridge Street in Southside. (Photo: 8News photographer Jacob Sexton)

(WRIC) — During this time of year we tend to experience heavy rain producing thunderstorms and tropical moisture. We may also experience heavy rain producing thunderstorms throughout every season, but they happen to be the most prominent in spring and summer where the elements come together more frequently.  

Flash flooding conditions can be caused by heavy rain producing and sometimes slow-moving thunderstorms, severe thunderstorms and tropical systems.

Flash flooding can be characterized by heavy rain occurring quickly in a localized area causing rising water in such areas. Certain areas are more susceptible to flash flooding than others such as low-lying areas, rivers, lakes, possibly areas below sea level and underneath overpasses.

Flash flooding conditions may be deceiving at times as you may be driving and the water doesn’t seem to be that significant until you are driving through it and you may see water rising up to the windows or well above the car. A phrase of note that you may want to remember is “Turn around. Don’t drown.”

Flash floods are typically indicated by the National Weather Service with a “FLASH FLOOD WARNING” that may come across your cellular device.

In the event of flash flooding conditions, try to remain off the roads as there may be areas that you will want to avoid due to impassable conditions. Also, it is not recommended to walk through or stand in flooding waters, not only because of possible drowning dangers but also because flooding waters may not bode well for sanitary reasons that can cause you to become ill. Another risk you may incur is encountering downed power lines as well as possible snakes.

The main difference between flash flooding conditions that may occur from thunderstorms or tropical moisture is you’ll get more time to prepare for a tropical system headed your way as opposed to a heavy rain-producing thunderstorm.

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