In the last 30 years, inland flooding has been responsible for more than half the deaths associated with tropical storms in the United States. Remember that flood conditions can change rapidly and severe flooding can develop in minutes. Flood water levels can be much deeper than they appear. The depth of water may be difficult to assess. Floodwater may carry silt, raw sewage, oil or chemical waste, and therefore sanitize anything that may come in contact with the water before using the item.
Storm Surge - Storm surge is simply water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. While storm surge is always a potential threat, more people have died from inland flooding in the last 30 years.
Storm Tide - The advancing storm surge combines with the normal tides to create the storm tide
SLOSH Model - SLOSH Model is one tool used to evaluate the threat from storm surge.
Wave and Current Action - associated with the tide also causes extensive damage. Water weighs approximately 1,700 pounds per cubic yard; extended pounding by frequent waves can demolish any structure not specifically designed to withstand such forces.
Flood / Flash Flood Watch - An announcement to inform the public that current and developing conditions are favorable for flooding or flash flooding in and close to the watch area, but the occurrence is neither certain nor imminent.
Flood / Flash Flood Warning - A warning issued to inform the public that flooding or flash flooding is in progress, imminent, or highly likely in the affected area.
What can you do?
- When you hear hurricane, think inland flooding.
- If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Keep abreast of road conditions through the news media.
- Move to a safe area before access is cut off by floodwater.
- Do not attempt to cross flowing water. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle; two feet of water will carry most cars away.
- Develop a flood emergency action plan with your community leaders.
- Obtain Flood Insurance, if you think you need it.
- Determine whether you live in a potential flood zone.