Flood Safety

Types of Flood Watches and Warnings Issued by the National Weather Service

FLASH FLOOD WARNING - issued when flooding occurs or is imminent within 6 hours of the event.

FLOOD WARNINGS - issued when flooding occurs or is imminent and is expected to occur more than 6 hours.

RIVER FLOOD WARNING - issued when flooding is occurring or expected to occur near streams and rivers.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH - issued when conditions are favorable for flash flooding (sudden short-term flooding that lasts less than 6 hours). This includes floods from dam or levee failure.

FLOOD WATCH - issued when conditions are favorable for long-duraton (longer than 6 hours) flooding. This includes river flooding. Water is a very powerful force and should never be underestimated!

Flood Safety Rules

*During periods of heavy rain, move to higher ground and stay away from low lying areas such as streambeds, drainage ditches, and culverts.

Water runs off streets and parking lots very rapidly causing natural and man-made drainage systems to overflow with rushing flood waters.

These flood waters carry debris that can be deadly to someone in their path. A rapidly flowing stream or ditch can sweep you off your feet or even sweep your car downstream.

* Stay out of flooded areas.

In flooded areas, the water may still be rising and is usually swift. Children are especially vulnerable and should not be allowed to play or walk in flowing water.

* Never drive your car into water of unknown depths or around barricades

Most flash flood deaths occur when people drive their vehicles into flood waters. Flood waters may rise very quickly and could cover the vehicle or sweep it away. If your vehicle stalls, abandon it and immediately seek higher ground.

* Be especially cautious at night, when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

Information provided by NOAA