According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), flash flooding is the number one weather-related killer in the U.S.
- Over 50% of flash flooding deaths occur when vehicles are driven into hazardous flood waters.
- People are unaware that most vehicles can be swept away in 18 to 24 inches of moving water.
- Cars will float when the force of the water is greater than the force of friction.
- Sand and mud reduce the friction force of gravity holding the car in place.
- For more information, review the article.
- People who drive across flooded roadways do not know if the roadway is intact. The murky, swift water can conceal hidden hazards below the surface.
- Communities can reduce this problem by:
- Utilizing barricades
- Closing roads
- Stationing personnel to control and direct access during flooding
- Using flash flooding public safety campaigns, such as those developed by NOAA, which provide outstanding information regarding this significant hazard
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, walking into, or near, flood waters is the second highest reason for flood-related deaths.