Nick's Blog: Learn about the serious threats of flooding

Nick's Blog: Learn about the serious threats of flooding
WDAM First Alert Weather Team

PINE BELT (WDAM) - Thursday is day four of Mississippi Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

With severe weather, most people worry about tornadoes. But on Thursday, it's all about flooding. Did you know that flooding kills more people per year than hurricanes, tornadoes and lightning?

There are two types of flooding common in Mississippi: flash flooding and river flooding.

Flash flooding happens when a lot of rain falls over a localized area so fast that it can't drain away fast enough. As the water rises, it can wash out roads and destroy buildings and bridges an inundate large areas quickly.

River flooding is slower to develop and can even be a result of flash flooding.

The National Weather Service issues river flood warnings when rivers are expected to rise above flood stage.

There are three ways the NWS informs you about the threat for flooding.

  • A watch, warning and an emergency.
  • A watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. Keep an eye on the weather and on low-lying areas and make be prepared to take action.
  • A warning is means a flash flooding is happening now or will be soon. Move to higher ground immediately. Watch out for water covered roadways.

A flash flood emergency is issued after extensive flooding is putting people in life-threatening situations. This, like a Tornado Emergency, needs to be treated as such: an emergency.

Most deaths from flash flooding occur when people drive into flood waters. It does not matter how big the car is. It only takes two feet of water to wash any car/pickup/SUV away.

And it only takes six inches of water to wash away a person.

A simple rule to remember is Turn Around Don't Drown.