The National Weather Service issues many different alerts to warn the public of their flooding risk. Here's how they are broken down:
- Flash Flood Warning: Take Action. A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. Move to higher ground if you are in an area prone to flooding. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It's 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 or flooding is imminent or already happening.
- Flood Watch: Be Prepared. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. 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.
Leading cause of weather-related deaths: Flooding is the second leading cause of weather-related deaths in the Miami Valley across the United States. From 2010 -2018 there were 17 flood related deaths in Ohio. More than 50 percent of flood-related deaths occur when people are driving or walking in floodwaters.
Driving through standing or flowing water: Chief Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs says water may look shallow enough, but water levels can be deceiving. It only takes a few inches of swift moving water to cause a vehicle to float.
Swimming in creeks: Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini reminds us that creeks and streams fill rapidly during heavy rain and flash flood events.
Know your forecast. A heavy rain upstream from the sunny spot where you may be swimming, could present danger quickly.
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Rapid stream flow can rush debris down the creek, making for dangerous conditions, even days after a rain event.
Another danger in swollen creeks can be the under current you may not feel until you enter the water and are carried away. A life jacket is the best option if you plan on swimming in a creek this spring or summer.
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