What is a Flash Flood?
Here in Paducah during a storm season, we oftentimes find flash flood warnings pop up on our phone screens. But what really is a flash flood? And can it actually affect us?
What is a flash flood?
Flash flooding can be defined as flooding that begins within six hours, and oftentimes within three hours, of heavy rainfall (or other cause).
Where do they occur?
The intensity of the rainfall, the location and distribution of the rainfall, the land use and topography, vegetation types and growth/density, soil type, and soil water-content all determine just how quickly the Flash Flooding may occur, and influence where it may occur.
Flash flooding is possible anywhere. It can occur in urban areas due to the lack of land area for water to infiltrate. It can also occur in rural areas where water already has a head start in occupying, such as streams or creeks.
How can it affect me?
Flash Flooding occurs so quickly that people are caught off-guard when the situation arises. The instance can become dangerous if they encounter high, fast-moving water while traveling. If people are at their homes or businesses, the water may rise quickly and trap them, or cause damage to the property.
While they may sound trivial, flash floods can be very dangerous if one is not prepared with knowledge on the nature of the flood. It is important to be prepared and pay attention to news reports and word-of-mouth accounts.