Floods/Flash Floods

Nationally, flash floods are responsible for more deaths than any other weather phenomena.  Flash flooding is usually a result of sudden, very heavy rain that occurs in a localized area, which may cause small innocent streams to turn violent.  During flash floods, these streams become raging torrents of water that are capable of causing tremendous amounts of damage.  This is why they are often called "The Awesome Power!". 

The closest major flash flood to the Tri-State area occurred in Rapid City on June 9, 1972.  Many times in the spring we experience floods as rivers and streams swell above their banks due to melting snow or heavy rain.  The difference between floods and flash floods is the time of onset.  Flash floods happen much quicker.

Flash Flood Safety Rules

  • Never camp on low ground next to streams or rivers.
  • DO NOT cross flooded roadways in vehicles or by foot.  The road bed may be washed out and you could be stranded or trapped!
  • If your vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • Get out of areas subject to flooding.  These include low spots, canyons, and washes, etc.
  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately!
  • Children should NEVER play around high water or storm drains.
  • ALWAYS stay abreast of the latest weather information by listening to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, and/or television.

Many Flash Floods occur at night, so be prepared to take quick action!!

  • Also view: A Preparedness Guide from the National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Red Cross


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