Flash floods occur as a result of heavy rainfall, rapid snow thaw, city drains overflowing or dam/levee failures. They occur quickly and unexpectedly, within 6 hours of the events that caused them. Here are more facts to give you an idea of how dangerous flash floods can be:
- Every region in the United States can be affected by flash floods, especially low-lying areas: near river beds and coastlines.
- Cities are more likely to be affected by flash floods due to the predominant impermeable surfaces, such as asphalt, and the lack of natural drainage systems.
- The water from flash floods can reach a height of 20 feet, which can severely damage anything in its path.
- Just 2 feet of floodwater moving at 9 feet per second (standard speed of flash floods) is enough to sweep vehicles away, move 100 pound rocks, uproot trees or level buildings.
- Just 6 inches of rapidly moving floodwater can sweep someone off their feet.
- Between 2004 and 2013, an average of 75 people have died from flash floods in the United States per year.
- Nearly all who perished during flash floods tried to outrun the waters rather than going to a higher area.
- Two thirds of the deaths claimed by flash floods occur in vehicles, when the drivers try to pass through the floodwater.
- Flash floods can cause extensive structural damage: 12” of floodwater on a 2,000 square foot building can cause $50,000 worth of damage or more.
- Flash flood warnings are issued by the National Weather Service when a flash flood is imminent.
Tips to prepare for spring storms are available here and information on how to act during and after the disaster can be accessed here. If your basement has flooded, take a look at these tips. For professional fire, water and mold restoration services, contact your local PuroClean office.