Flash Flooding: One of the deadliest natural disasters in the Un - WRBL

Flash Flooding: One of the deadliest natural disasters in the United States

Posted: Updated: Feb 19, 2014 04:21 PM
WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) - As the days are starting to become warmer, the chance of storms and the severe weather begins to increase, and the Storm Team and the National Weather Service want you to be prepared and informed about how severe weather affects Tennessee and Virginia.

In fact the National Weather Service form Morristown has proclaimed this week Severe Weather Awareness week in Tennessee. Several topics will be discussed from the Storm Team 11 Meteorologists, which include, tornadoes, flash flooding, lightning and severe weather.

In this web story we will discuss a disaster that happens frequently here in the Mountain Empire when the rain falls an does not quit, causing small stream and creeks to become raging rivers with little or known warning. This sudden flood is called a Flash Flood.      

Flash floods can flood neighborhoods, inundate homes and even sweep cars and debris downstream. 

Our region is at greater risk for these localized flash flood events due to the mountains and valleys landscape and the many streams and rivers we have in the area.

The rural Dry Creek community was hit hard back on August 2012 because a small normally calm creek rose out of its banks after five to six inches of rain fell in about an hour. Dry Creek swelled to the size of a football field and was 15 ft deep, this all occurred within just thirty minutes. Cars were washed away and even a house was lifted off its foundation. 

However, flash flooding can happen in downtown cities due to poor drainage in low lying areas or when the storm water drainage system becomes overwhelmed because of the high volume of water.

Flash flooding has affected many locations throughout the Tri-Cities. Johnson city, Kingsport, Erwin and Saltville have also seen flooding over the past couple of years. We know that there will be future flooding events and you need to know what action to take in case you and your family are in danger.

It has been almost two years since Ronnie Jones was surprised by the Dry Creek Flood, and he says,  "When you see them waters start rising I would get away from there".

Floods are one of the deadliest natural disasters in the United States. In fact more people are killed from flooding than tornadoes, hurricanes, and lightning.

Remember never attempt to drive through floodwaters, you don't know how deep it is and only about two feet of water can float a car.

You need to know what the difference between a Watch and Warning. Flash Flood Watch means that a Flash Flood is possible, however a Flash Flood Warning means that a flash flood is occurring or is imminent and you need to take action and go to higher ground immediately. 

For more facts and information about Flash Flooding just go to the National Weather Service http://www.nws.noaa.gov/floodsafety/

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