Severe Weather Awareness Week: Preparing and dealing with flooding

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Flooding is a severe weather threat that can impact everyone. In fact, it HAS impacted a large portion of Iowa, and parts of Nebraska over the last several weeks.

There are quite a few different types of flood alerts issued by the National Weather Service. Here’s the definitions of each, per the NWS. 

• Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.

• Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring. There are areal flood warnings which can be used to describe ongoing flooding in a particular area. Flood warnings are issued along rivers and streams that are experiencing flooding. 

• Flood Watch: Be Prepared! A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.

• Flood Advisory: Be Aware! An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

(Credit: National Weather Service) 

So if you begin experiencing flooding, what should you do? 

-Stay informed

-Get to higher ground

-Obey evacuation orders (if you’re told to leave, do so!)

-Avoid flood waters

-DO NOT drive through flooded roads. Your car WILL NOT make it through.

According to the National Weather Service and the CDC, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. 

The CDC says over half of all flood-related drowings occur when a vehicle is driven into flood waters. 

This means you should NOT drive through barriers or closed roads. They are closed for a reason! 

We know 6 inches of fast-moving flood water is enough to knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away most cars just 2 feet of rushing water can carry away SUVs and trucks.

To get the latest flood alerts and warnings for your area, check out the information here from the National Weather Service.

Furthermore, the Local 5 weather team will be here every step of the way to keep you safe and informed.

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